No sentence for principled cannabis growers

Two Dutch cannabis growers were acquitted by the court. They were found guilty for growing cannabis, but as they kept to all ordinary business rules and did not cause any nuisance to their environment, the judge decided not to punish them.

The two, a man and woman from Groningen, have grown cannabis for a long time and were sentenced several times before. They only grow biologically - they don’t use any pesticides and they pay their high electricity bills. They only supply coffeeshops that have been approved of by the municipality. Furthermore they have always been open about their business: they keep an administration and pay their taxes, like any other business would.

The growers argue that the Dutch cannabis policy isn’t clear and should be changed. To a large extent the judge agreed: "The sale of cannabis in coffeeshops is tolerated, which implies the shops need to be supplied, and to make supply possible there should be cultivation as well."

Dutch cannabis policy is indeed a bit weird: the sale of cannabis in coffeeshops is tolerated, though the cultivation is forbidden. A month earlier Senator Guusje ter Horst already pleaded for experiments with legal cannabis cultivation. Ruling minister of Justice, Ivo Opstelten, says he doesn’t see any reason to change the policy.

Good news for the growers couple from Groningen, though their victory is not yet secured: the Public Prosecutor announced they will appeal against the ruling.

Source: Nu.nl. (Dutch)