Dutch Government to Ban Tourists From Cannabis Shops

The Dutch government on Friday said it would start banning tourists from buying cannabis from “coffee shops” and impose restrictions on Dutch customers by the end of the year.

The Netherlands is well known for having one of Europe’s most liberal soft drug policies that has made its cannabis shops a popular tourist attraction, particularly in Amsterdam.

Backed by the far-right party of anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders, the coalition government that came into power last year announced plans to curb drug tourism as mart of a nationwide program to promote health and fight crime.

“In order to tackle the nuisance and criminality associated with coffee shops and drug trafficking, the open-door policy of coffee shops will end,” the Dutch health and justice ministers wrote in a letter to the country’s parliament on Friday.

Under the new rules, only Dutch residents will be able to sign up as members of cannabis shops.

Dutch customers will have to sign up for at least a year’s membership and each shop would be expected to have only up to 1,500 members, a justice ministry spokesman said.

The policy will roll out in the southern provinces of Limburg, Noord Brabant and Zeeland by the end of the year and the rest of the country next year, the spokesman said.

Amsterdam, home to about 220 coffee shops, is already in the process of closing some in its red light district. Some officials have resisted the measures, saying they will push the soft drug trade underground.

Some Dutch border towns including Maastricht and Terneuzen have already restricted the sale of marijuana to foreigners.

– Article from The Baltimore Sun.


Dutch Cabinet Commits to Anti-Marijuana Plan

by The Associated Press

The Dutch Cabinet says it will push ahead with plans to force anyone wishing to purchase marijuana at the country’s weed cafes to first obtain an official pass — a move designed to curtail tourists from buying the drug.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he plans to begin rolling out the system in the country’s south later this year, an area popular with French and German buyers, before moving on to Amsterdam’s famed tourist cafes later in his term.

Justice Ministry spokesman Wim van der Weegen said Friday the supreme court must still rule on whether foreigners can be blocked entirely.

Regardless, he said the plan will prevent cafes from issuing more than 1,500 permits in all, forcing shop owners to choose between tourists and their regular customers.

– Article from The Associated Press.

Comments

17 Comments

  1. Jeff on

    Here’s your chance to stop your citizens from rioting and get some money flowing into your economy. All you have to do is provide a safe, well run cannabis tourism industry. Do it proudly, do it well, and don’t back down from all the other countries that are wanting to exploit your broke asses by loaning you money at crazy interest rates. Put your jobless youth to work, calm the angry masses, give your senior citizens cheap medicine for their glaucoma/arthritis/depression. Turn your nations broken economies around!!

    This is a fantastic opportunity if handled correctly!!

  2. pirate on

    the worrying thing here is that you have a right wing government that wants a list of all dutch nationals who smoke pot then what happens when they change their stance on cannabis all together and then they have a list of people they know are breaking the law and can be prosecuted for it, now that is a dangerous thought and surely is illegal

  3. Anonymous on

    I went to the cannabis cup in 2005 with a friend. We each spent $5,000 for a months stay, but were severely disappointed. The quality of the weed was terrible, (much better in Seattle,WA.), and except for the staff of the coffee shops, a lot of Dutch are rude and arrogant, not to mention racially prejudice – (check out their Christmas traditions, probable the only country that still tolerates the use of “black face” costumes.)
    I WOULD NEVER GO BACK AND I’M SORRY I EVER WENT.
    BAD (NOT GOOD) WEED.
    RUDE PEOPLE.
    LAND OF GREEDY INTERNATIONAL BANKERS.
    Stupid people, alcohol is the problem, not weed. Puke and feces all over the sidewalks from DRUNKS.

  4. Anonymous on

    Hello;
    If you were to exclude foreigners from the dutch coffeshops, why in gods name not just ask for a DUTCH pasport….. Instead, all weed smokers will now have to registrate, and there will be a limited number of people who can join a coffeeshop.
    Which means, that there are not enough coffeeshops to supply the need, and more dealers will rise on the street, prices will go up because there just won’t be enough coffeeshops/memberships allowed at a shop.

    So whats the real agenda behind this foolish move by my goverment? THAT should be the topic.
    Partly its just politics, making something appear like a good idea to be liked, but there has to be more behind it.

    One thing is for sure, a lot of people, also in the goverment are opposed to this idea! :)

  5. Son of Sam Walton on

    This sucks . . . my favorites shop ‘The Doors’ and ‘Baba’ will be closed to me and many will be closed down and layoff staff for those not closing down. This will drive the unemployment rate with all the weed vendors etc seeking work in the non-weed world with all the regular Dutch whom would have sought jobs in the non-weed world. I feel sorry for the baby-boomers whom didn’t smoke but a few times in the 60’s and 70’s and went to Nam or Kent State and are retiring and traveling and would smoke a bit in Holland. Holland sadly doesn’t offer much unlike France, Germany, Spain, Italy, England or Ireland when it comes to American tourism . . . windmills, Anne Frank and Delft Royal Blue don’t seem to offer much and Holland is a wink and miss it kind of country, sadly if it looses this unique piece of itself that is synonymous with the kind of freedoms the American Pilgrims sought in that land. How many will spend time other than going through and getting a postcard and a Dutch Pancake topped with peppers, nuts, cherries, chicken, honey, rum, dates and maple syrup (tastes better than it sounds and their restaurant industry will lose out on munchy money as well). Only the true art fans will visit the Van Gogh or Rembrandt or Vermeer museums, especially since its Paris that’s known more for art and museums. Too bad this beautiful country will alienate its visitors. As they always say: business is bad for the economy right? Why not require the visitors to buy a cheep little license in order to smoke that will only allow tourists to smoke and not drink as well when showing ID’s . . . one or the other on a day by day basis, which will drive down some of their hype and fears.

  6. Anonymous on

    It should be common knowledge that when the right wing trash gets power the rules change.

  7. Anonymous on

    The religious right is trashing politics everywhere? Wait until Harper passes his new laws! It will make 1500 members to a coffee shop, a very lucrative business. In Canada you will go to jail, and if you end up in Ontario the right wing political trash if elected will give you some hard labor to go with it! How in fuck did this country go from police discretion for pot possession to expanding our jails. Believe me when I say, Harper is going to put people in jail for things that where once just a fine? The right wing trash that he is!

  8. Anonymous on

    How quickly will Netherlands join Greece, Portugal and Ireland for an EU bailout will be the question that follows after such a move.

  9. Areial on

    They are doing this because the United States is putting pressure on the Dutch government.

  10. David762 on

    So, a liberal policy that the Dutch government has had for 20 years is being rescinded, because they don’t like the riff-raff tourists that such a policy attracts. I guess that the Dutch government will find out pretty quickly what percentage of tourists are not visiting the Netherlands only for the picture postcard flowers, windmills, and museums full of paintings by Dutch masters. Or perhaps the difference and loss in tourist revenue will be made up by the USA government — taxpayer and asset forfeiture funds to the DEA?

  11. Neville'sHaze on

    Now why would they want to kill an industry that brings in billions of Euros a month?

  12. Anonymous on

    wow, now i wish some muslim tard would jihad his ass

  13. Anonymous on

    why is the world going backwards?! ugh

  14. Anonymous on

    a few people reckon its still not going to go through, but i have a horrible feeling about it :(
    good job i’m going in two weeks :)

  15. Dave on

    Conservatives want more crime; it gives them a reason for being; it validates their fears!

  16. Anonymous on

    The Dutch Right wing is acting extremely immorally on the grounds of tradition and deluded support of conservative culture; the party came to power via fear of immigrants & now it’s going tyrannical. Denial of cannabis access is a serious violation of ethics; it’s not simply “potheads can’t get high”, it’s more “the best plant on Earth is being treated like it isn’t via stupidity and/or ignorance”… the power of cannabis to do good should not be underestimated or laughed off like it is today, so often.

  17. Mrs.RatsRectum on

    The Dutch newspaper reports Amsterdam is against the wietpas.

    http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/9902053/__Amsterdam_tegen_wietpas__.html?sn=binnenland,buitenland

    Same event in another Dutch newspaper.

    http://www.ad.nl/ad/nl/1041/Amsterdam/article/detail/2438258/2011/05/27/Amsterdam-blijft-tegen-wietpas.dhtml

    In another article in the AD it states that the government wants to clean up 40% of organized crime by 2014.

    I don’t know where people who can’t get a wietpas because of the numerus clausus (number restriction) who are frequenting coffeeshops now are going to get their weed legally as those who do have a weedpass will be able to do. They’ll probably get it from illegal sources, which means crime is likely to rise. So getting rid of 40% with an increase in crime could keep the actually crime rates the same. Whack a mole!

    It also speaks to the current lawsuit against it going on in Maastricht by a coffeeshop owner.

    http://www.ad.nl/ad/nl/1012/Binnenland/article/detail/2438264/2011/05/27/Maximaal-1500-clubleden-met-wietpas.dhtml