For the first time in Dutch parliamentary history a majority of parliamentarians are in favour of legalising weed production. The new Dutch weed laws are proposed by D66 (liberal democrats) and could signal the end for the Dutch world famous so-called “gedoogbeleid:” policy of tolerance.
Combatting illegal weed plantations is costing too much money and the government should regulate weed production, states Vera Bergkamp, D66 Member of Parliament. The Netherlands should again become the global standard for forward-looking policies. Crime is flourishing at the moment and fire hazards due to illegal plantations are estimated to exist on 50.000 separate locations throughout the country according to Bergcamp.
She further states that: “the Netherlands has had a crooked weed policy for far too long, you can sell weed but you can’t grow it on a professional scale or transport it. We believe that is wrong. When we regulate, it should be good for public health and enables us to get a grip on related criminal activities. A large part of Dutch society and many municipalities support these new Dutch weed laws”. Regulations would also mean governmental quality control on weed, according to Bergkamp people at this point don’t have a clue about what exactly they are smoking.
Several mayors have been advocating for measures that reduce illegal weed plantations for quite some time. Back in 2013 twenty-five mayors asked then minister of Justice Ivo Opstelten to reconsider his position on not allowing for legal weed plantation experiments. The new Dutch weed laws gives Coffee Shop owners the possibility to buy weed from permitted weed plantations. The weed will be checked by the government, which would make it easier to track down and disrupt illegal plantations.
The current cabinet believes it is up to congress, and will deal with the matter when it is presented to them. The cabinet position will be determined in the procedure. It should be noted that at this point there is not a senate majority in favour of the new Dutch weed laws so anything could still happen.