Five cannabis plants not punishable

26th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Home-growers with no more than five plants in their possession will not be facing prosecution regardless of the size of their crop on condition they immediately give up their plants when the police come knocking at their door.

The Dutch supreme court on Tuesday handed down its ruling on the appeals filed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in three similar cases.

In each case, a lower court had acquitted a suspect or suspects charged with growing five cannabis plants. In one of the three cases, the suspect had five plants in their garden with a total yield of 2,180 grams. In another, a couple had harvested 6,712 grams of cannabis, also from five plants.

The Public Prosecutors’ Office argued that only the possession of no more than 30 grams of cannabis is condoned and wanted to see the suspects convicted.

However, based on a 2000 ministerial order which set a limit of five plants without providing any further specifications, the supreme court ruled that the possession of no more than five cannabis plants is insufficient cause for instigating a criminal prosecution when there are no exceptional circumstances and the grower give up their plants right away.

The supreme court wrote in its ruling that: “The quantity and the weight of the cannabis crop obtained from a cultivation limited to five plants are irrelevant.”

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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