PRESS RELEASE OF TREKT UW PLANT vzw
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Today, 25 February 2010, the Court of Appeal in Antwerpen (Chamber 13) has acquitted the board members of the Belgian Cannabis Social Club Trekt Uw Plant of the accusation "incitement to drug use", for which they had been convicted in February 2009 by the Correctional Court.
The courtcase came about after the events of 3 and 5 May 2008. During those events the Board Members of Trekt Uw Plant put each a cannabis seed for their personal plant in a pot. In this way, they established a collective cannabis plantation, based on a ministerial guideline dating from January 2005 which establishes that the possession of max. 3 grammes or 1 cannabisplant is no longer persecuted.
However, the Antwerp prosecutor decided to persecute the board members on the accusation of "incitement to drug use" .
Today the Court of Appeal has judged that the actions of Trekt Uw Plant were not meant to incite others to use. The Court accepted the arguments of the defense (carried out by master Tom Goossens from Beveren) that these actions are meant to create legal security for the cultivation of cannabis for personal use, in which the promotion of public health and the prevention of public nuisance and criminality are crucial factors.
With this verdict, the Court of Appeal confirms that the goals of Trekt Uw Plant are legitimate. Trekt Uw Plant wants to be a legal alternative for the illegal market. If Belgian cannabis users may grow their cannabis by themselves or in group, they do not need to come in contact with this illegal market and the number of Belgian tourists to coffeeshops atin the Dutch border cities will fall significantly.
In the concept of Trekt Uw Plant, which has been accepted by the Court of Appeal, users will be able to count with a product of constant quality, which will help them to rationalise and diminish their use. Also the illegal cultivation of cannabis, with all problems caused by the illegal environment, such as theft of electricity and violation of fire safety and environmental rules, will diminish significantly. When a plantation is tolerated by authorities, requirements can be established in the field of safety and environment.
In June 2008, Trekt Uw Plant was also acquitted, for similar facts. This second acquittance encourages us to continue in the fight for a coherent and effective cannabis policy in Belgium.
This press release though is not meant to incite others to use cannabis or any other drug.