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Dutch City Moves Forward With Legal Cannabis Trials

By on September 11, 2013
The Dutch city of Utrecht has a population of just over 300,000. (

The Dutch city of Utrecht has a population of just over 300,000. ( – The city council of Utrecht is pushing ahead with plans to study the effects of legal cannabis.

The study comes as two separate experiments: one involving a private cultivation club for recreational users and another involving the treatment of a group of psychiatric patients, reports Dutch News.

The club, called the Cannabis Social Club Domstad, will be a test model for legalizing recreational production in Utrecht, explained city alderman Victor Everhardt in a statement.

“The city of Utrecht wants to [provide] recreational users the ability to use cannabis grown in a club.”

The other experiment will be used to evaluate the impact of marijuana on mental health problems – specifically anxiety, insomnia and psychotic attacks.

Researchers will provide cannabis to a group of 80 patients with these conditions who are not responding to traditional treatments. The group will consist of patients who are current cannabis users – which is suspected to contribute to their medical problems.

However, the experiment will set out to determine whether cannabis is truly helpful or harmful under controlled medical supervision.

While the medical experiment is expected to be approved, city councillors expect to face more difficulty in implementing a legal cannabis cultivation club.

Justice minister Ivo Opstelten has already said that he will not approve the plan. But Everhardt says he will seek approval from the health ministry instead.

While cannabis is prohibited under the country’s Opium Act, exemptions can be made under health arguments.

The idea for the cannabis club in Utrecht began last year.

Other cities in the Netherlands – including Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Tilburg and Leeuwarden – are also looking at ways to allow legal cannabis cultivation, reports

The full press release is available online at

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