AMSTERDAM — Maastricht Mayor Gerd Leers has called for the toleration of soft drugs in the Netherlands to be extended to the production and supply of cannabis in a bid to reduce crime.
Presently, both possession and the sale of cannabis at so-called "coffee shops" is tolerated, but the production of marijuana and the supply to coffee shops is banned.
Leers said the ban on the cultivation and supply of cannabis leads to criminality, news agency ANP reported on Sunday. Small-scale cannabis cultivation for private use is already tolerated.
Tolerating commercial production would decriminalise the industry and police resources would therefore be freed up for other tasks, he said.