Source: De Gelderlander
7 February 2013
THE HAGUE – Dutch cities may install cannabis plantations themselves to make an end to organised drugs crime, says Jan Brouwer, professor of legal sciences of the University of Groningen.
According to Brouwer, the veto that minister Opstelten of Security and Justice (VVD – conservative liberals) has put against the municipal cannabis plantations is ‘complete rubbish.’ A steady growing number of cities wants to deal with the backdoor problem of the coffeeshops by organising cannabis cultivation themselves. Until now Opstelten has denied every request to start experiments in this sense.
According to the minister, regulation of cannabis cultivation violates international conventions. “That makes no sense”, says Brouwer. “Those international rules are soft as butter. At the moment, the Netherlands are being outpaced at all sides.” He refers to the American states of Washington and Colorado where cannabis cultivation has been legalised.
Ruling coalition partner PvdA (social-democrats) shares Brouwers criticism. “I don’t want us to be passed by American states”, says PvdA-MP Myrthe Hilkens. “PvdA also wants to legalise the cultivation and the backdoor of the coffeeshops. But as long as minister Opstelten does not agree, we cannot change anything.” VVD, PVV (rightwing populists) and the christian parties in the Dutch parliament are opposing legal regulation of cannabis cultivation.
According to left liberal D66-MP Magda Berndsen, Brouwers’ criticism shows that there is ‘no argument whatsoever’ to ban municipal experiments. “It is now we have the chance to reform the peculiar Dutch policy on soft drugs.”Republish