by Martijn on 17/10/2014 | Cannabis News

No punishment for Dutch couple growing 2.400 cannabis plants

On Thursday, October 16th 2014, a Dutch couple from Bierum, a village in the north of the Netherlands, was found guilty of growing cannabis, but did not receive any punishment for it. A court settlement that puts the Dutch tolerance policy on cannabis into question.


On Thursday, October 16th 2014, a Dutch couple from Bierum, a village in the north of the Netherlands, was found guilty of growing cannabis, but did not receive any punishment for it. A court settlement that puts the Dutch tolerance policy on cannabis into question.

During the course of the last few years, the Dutch liberal cannabis and coffeeshop policy has been slowly but surely reversed.
Judges have enough of the Dutch crooked cannabis policy.

The two farmers grew cannabis plants in their farm in Bierum, and sold the final product exclusively to municipality-approved coffeeshops of the neighborhood. They explicitly used organic growing methods that imply not using pesticides and chemical additives to increase the weight of the products sold ; a method commonly used by commercial – and often criminal – cannabis growers to get more revenue. Moreover, they did not steal any power but paid for all their electricity bills, paid their taxes, and maintained a transparent accounting system.

All this was done in order to make a stand against the current Dutch tolerance policy by which coffeeshops are permitted to sell cannabis to their customers while the necessary purchase of the products via the so called ‘back door’ is punishable. A hypocritical policy that is forcing coffeeshops to do business with criminal growers who, in most cases, do not deliver a good, ‘clean’ product because they prioritize revenue over quality. These idealistic motives successfully took over the District Court of Groningen on Thursday, October 16th.

Crooked policy

Lawyers Sidney Smeets and Tim Vis (both from the well-known law firm Spong Lawyers) did a very good job in translating these motives into a strong plea against the current cannabis policy. A policy in which one knows that coffeeshops are selling cannabis, and one knows that supplying coffeeshops is illegal. After 20 years this crooked policy still has not been amended into a proper set of rules, while judges all over the country are constantly confronted with it. “And they had enough of that”, concludes Smeets. Among them, the judge who ruled in the case of the Bierum couple.

The court ruled that the two did violate the law by growing 2.500 cannabis plants, and owning nine hundred cuttings and eight kilos of buds, but they did not receive any punishment. The judge clarified that the safe and responsible manner in which the two have grown is in line with the Dutch policy of tolerance, making this ruling the first in which growing cannabis is tolerated in the Netherlands.

Doede de Jong.
Doede de Jong.

Strong signal

The ruling is a strong signal to politicians, who are called upon to revise the law in order to prevent the legal system from facing the same problems over and over again. It is also a strong signal for other judges to take the same position, which will hopefully happen in the similar case against Doede de Jong.

Sensi Seeds also follows the case of Bertrand Rambaud. This French cannabis patient and activist was prosecuted for growing cannabis (for personal medicinal use) on June 16th 2014, but also received no penalty. The judge appeared sensitive to the declaration of Rambaud’s doctor who confirmed that no modern pharmaceutical drug was successful in keeping him alive, while the use of cannabis could. A powerful signal in a country known for its harsh cannabis laws.

Sensi Seeds is hoping to see many more of these signals in the near future.

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Cannabis N.I.

Finally some good news from the Netherlands. Hopefully this is the chink in the armor that's needed.

24/10/2014

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