2016 has brought a lot of changes both god and bad in the cannabis community in The Netherlands. As you can see in the title image and the article from Joost Pijpker that inspired this post.
While America is making changes on a state level to enable and legalise cannabis use, the Netherlands is actively trying to go backwards in it’s “allowed” freedom for it’s citizens.
It is perfectly fine to drink your liver away on whiskey and even harder liquor but the Dutch government are not the same as the Dutch people, they are more right wing than liberal and support the semi prohibition, in fact they have made it even worse this year.
A change in the law in January 2016 meant that the old model of growing 5 plants being (semi) legal was scrapped if cannabis was grown indoors under a lamp.
This rather confusing law change has created even more upheaval in an already poorly managed and barely understood system (named; gedoog beleid)
This draconian measure to prevent people from growing quality cannabis for themselves and forcing them to purchase what they need from shops that sell their medicine without the quality control they had.
It is not all bad news though, recent developments in Tilburg for example have shown that communities are taking it upon themselves to do what is right and license a new form of rule that allows for a somewhat regulated system of home production. This sort of solution is needed as the current Dutch law has failed the country, the businesses and the community.
In Tilburg it is now allowed for medicinal cannabis patients to grow their own plants (upto 5) with some strict rules, the grower must be over 21, The grower must have the relevant safety measures and the plants cannot grow taller than 3 meters. (source: NRC Article; Joost Pijpker)
Local law changes like this are a good indication of changing times and also the realisation that it is safer for all parties involved to allow the growing of cannabis by patients in need. This will give them quality control over their own end product and not be a victim of poorly grown, pesticide filled product sold by shady sellers or retailers.
Lets hope that the future of both the plant and the law in the Netherlands continues in a positive way, as everyone knows the truth about this wonderful herb, but things wont improve if the government is determined to stay ignorant by choice.