The Dutch government has said that it would not defer to the wish of a parliamentary majority that the production of cannabis be legalized in the country, Dutch newspaper "De Volkskrant" reported on Tuesday.
Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner told the parliament on Monday that the government has major practical and legal objections and will not tolerate any exceptions.
He said municipalities that experiment with "legal weed" will be prosecuted.
According to the newspaper reports, the MPs supporting the legalization hold the view that the current Dutch soft drugs policy is halfhearted: the sale of cannabis in coffee shops has been tolerated for years but the cultivation of cannabis and its supply to coffee shops is illegal.
The parliament hopes that legalization can put cultivation on the right track and end the criminal side-effects that illegal cultivation brings with it.
At the moment, cultivation is largely controlled by organized crime. Illegal home cultivation of cannabis is on the rise and this too leads to a deterioration in neighborhoods, the parliament feels.
It would be better if the police officers that are now busy trying to tackle illegal cannabis cultivation could focus on other forms of crime, said the MPs.
Donner in fact supports an even stricter approach to coffee shops than the current regime and he does not plan to change his position.
"It is putting the cart before the horse," the minister was quoted by the newspaper as saying.