After almost 4 years of activism the association could present the first legally grown cannabis plants in Belgium to its members.
This videoreport is the evidence of the presentation, earlier this month, of the first trial harvest of the association Trekt Uw Plant, being a cannabisplant for some of its members. Therewith the association has made a significant contribution to the legal regulation of the Belgian cannabis market. It is also an important step to the complete self sufficiency for all its members.
Since 2005, a ministerial guideline is applied in Belgium according to which the possession of max. 3 grammes of cannabis and 1 female plant is not persecuted. At most, policemen can issue a ’Simplified Registration’ without legal consequences. The cannabis can not even be confiscated without the consent of the owner.
During the past years Trekt Uw Plant has tested this guideline. In two opportunities, on December 12th, 2006 and May 3d, 2008, a collerctive cannabis plantation was presented in public. Both times, the plantation was confiscated and the board members of the association were arrested and persecuted. Both times, the association was condemned by the local judge, the first time because of cannabis possession, the second time because of "incitement to drug use’. And both times the association appealed against this decision and finally was acquitted, on June 26th, 2008 and February 25th, 2010.
From this acquittance, Trekt Uw Plants draws the conclusion that its method fits completely within the intention of the Belgian lawmakers: by making an end to the persecution of the possession and cultivation of cannabis for personal use, the accent in policy is shifted from justice to public health. Growing for personal use is a healthy alternative for the illegal market and for tourism to the coffeeshops in the Netherlands. An association like Trekt Uw Plant uses ecological cultivation methods, without any risk for adulteration of the product like is the case on the black market. Contrary to the illegal market, the association is not accessible for minors.
Trekt Uw Plant wants to send a signal to the estimated amount of 500.000 cannabis consumers in Belgium. From now on it is possible, under certain conditions, to organise the collective cultivation of cannabis for personal use through a closed circuit. Thus, Belgium has taken a step further than the Netherlands, where the sale of small quantities is tolerated, but cultivation is not.
Trekt Uw Plant started in july 2006 planting a cannabis seed in the Botanical Gardens in Antwerp
During the Worldwide Marijuana March that will take place on 8 May in Brussels, just as in 300 other cities in the entire world, Trekt Uw Plant will announce its plans for this year. Normally every member can now reserve his or her plant, on the condition that he/she is adult, , lives in Belgium and consumes cannabis.
The European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies, is a pan-European network of currently 150 NGO’s and individual experts involved in the drug issue on a daily base. We are the European section of an International Coalition, which consists of more than 400 NGOs from around the world that have adhered to a Manifesto for Just and Effective Drug Policies (established in 1998). Among our members are organisations of cannabis and other drug users, of health workers, researchers, grassroot activists as well as companies.