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Netherlands Approves Bill to Allow Cultivation of Marijuana

Dutch MPs have narrowly approved a bill that would permit the growing of cannabis, removing a legal grey area that left “coffee shops” able to sell the drug but unable to supply themselves without fear of prosecution.

The measure passed on Tuesday would create a regulated cannabis supply chain, with some suppliers permitted to cultivate the drug without facing arrest. It would also remove the legal loophole that left coffee shops open to charges for transporting marijuana to their stores. A coalition of liberal and leftwing members won the vote in the Dutch parliament by 77 to 72, with stiff opposition from centre-right and far-right parties, including the liberal-Conservative party of Mark Rutte, prime minister.

“This is an important step to end a stalemate which has taken far too long,” said Vera Bergkamp, an MP with the D66 group which proposed the bill. “It finally ends the current skew tolerance policy where you can sell weed [cannabis] but cannot grow or buy it.” [Read more at Financial Times]

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