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Dutch Can Grow Five Marijuana Plants, No Problem

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #681)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

People can grow up to five marijuana plants at home without facing criminal charges, no matter how big the harvest, the Dutch high court ruled Tuesday. But the plants must be handed over to police if they come on an official visit, the court held.

You can grow up to five of these in Holland, no matter the yield, the Dutch high court has held. (image courtesy the author)
The ruling addresses two separate marijuana cultivation cases from 2006 and 2008. In one case, a man was found to have five plants in his garden that yielded nearly five pounds of pot. In the other case, a couple was found with five plants yielding nearly 12 pounds.

Prosecutors had argued that the large harvests violated regulations that allow individuals to possess up to five grams of marijuana for their own use.

It is unclear what the cultivators intended to do with their harvests. Under Dutch policy, licensed coffee shops can sell pot to customers, but the policy makes no provision for growing pot for the coffee shops to sell. A significant black market has grown up to supply the coffee houses.

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Gart Valenc (not verified)


I am totally against the Drug Prohibition Regime and can’t wait to see it thrown away into the dustbin of history greatest inequities humankind have inflicted on itself. I would have thought that any rational, responsible and caring individual could see that drug abuse and its profoundly disruptive consequences calls for enlightened policies where education, health and regulation would play central roles; that it calls for policies where no room is left for the Victorian values Prohibitionists seem so keen on: abstinence or punishment.

One can only assume that something deeply ideological, prejudicial or irrational prevents people from understanding that the problem is prohibition, and not the drugs themselves; that no matter what drug one is considering, prohibition is not the solution…far from it. If anything, what decades of pursuing and enforcing the prohibition regime and its dastardly offshoot, the so-called War on Drugs, is that it can only make things worse!

Having said that, I am troubled by the skewed views in some quarters of the anti-prohibitionist movement in drug consuming, developed countries like ours; I am referring specifically to their focus on the demand/consumption side of the equation with total disregard for the supply side. I do understand the difference between tactics and strategy, and can see that for many in this movement the priority is to undermine the prohibitionist regime in this side of the fence and in the process help undermine the case for the war on the supply of drugs. However, as I have consistently been arguing in my blog (apologies for self-referencing): countries that have decriminalised or depenalised the demand have a moral obligation to introduce changes in national and international laws to seek the decriminalisation or depenalisation of the supply, too. Given the extraordinarily high price drug producing countries have paid and continue to pay for this insane war, not to do so is hypocritical, cynical and frankly speaking, criminal.

Gart Valenc

Wed, 04/27/2011 - 6:38pm Permalink
Forlen Ainjull (not verified)

The Netherlands has one of the most, if not the most, sensible policies on cannabis use and cultivation on the planet. Having said that, how can it be rational or fair to treat an individual who grows five cannabis plants with an unspecified yield (e.g. 12 pounds, as in the story above) as law-abiding, while treating an individual who grows six plants with a total yield of less than half a pound (fairly typical of amateur organic growers) as a criminal?  Unfair, bizarre, and hardly believable.

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 2:46pm Permalink

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