September 16, 2008
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch high court on Tuesday acquitted a man charged with illegally growing marijuana who said the drug helped ease pain from his multiple sclerosis.
Growing marijuana is illegal in the Netherlands but sales of it and other cannabis-related soft drugs in coffee shops have been tolerated for decades, making them a major tourist attraction.
Pharmacies are allowed to sell limited quantities of cannabis only if the buyer can provide a doctor's prescription.
The man suffered some negative side-effects after taking pharmacy cannabis, and then decided to grow his own marijuana, the Dutch high court said in a statement.
Citing the unusual circumstances, the court said it was acceptable for the man to grow the drug without a licence.