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Saturday 20 October RNW - NEWS AND ANALYSIS FROM THE NETHERLANDS IN 10 LANGUAGES, WORLDWIDE 24/7 ON RADIO, TV AND ONLINE
Eric Beauchemin's picture

Weed pass sparks new problems

Published on : 9 May 2012 - 2:53pm | By Eric Beauchemin (Screenshot: EenVandaag)
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The introduction of the 'weed pass' earlier this month in the south of the Netherlands is leading to growing problems. Since 1 May, only Dutch residents are able to purchase soft drugs in coffeeshops. Foreigners are barred.
 
In protest against the move, many coffeeshops in Maastricht and other southern Dutch cities have closed their doors. So foreign drug tourists and Dutch residents who don’t have a weed pass are heading further north, and this is causing problems for coffeeshops in the weed pass border zone.
 
In cities in the weed pass area, like the eastern border town of Venlo, growing numbers of illegal drugs dealers are hanging out near coffeeshops. They’re harrassing not only drugs tourists but also local residents. The police say they’re monitoring the situation, but many people say they’re afraid.
 

The mayor of Maastricht says the weed pass, which will be introduced throughout the country on 1 January 2013, is also having positive effects. According to Mayor Onno Hoes, the residents of his city “can now park their cars in front of their houses. Children can play outside again, and old ladies feel safe when they put their garbage out.”

  

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Discussion

Annoyed 2 October 2012 - 1:06pm / Netherlands

With laws like these, the government will spend more and more on police, prisons and courts, like other western countries with their so called failed drug war. They will reduce pensions, slash spending on hospitals, nurses and doctors as well as education. For what? So they can pretend to clueless voters that they are in control.

Anonymous 1 July 2012 - 11:48am / local

this people, which name themself government or police,
they become after all criminals,
who is going to put them into jail,
where they belong to,
it is time, the public should be weponised either !!!

strayan 19 June 2012 - 9:38am

If this law was designed prevent drug tourism then why does the Dutch government advertise beer on their Tourism website?

Woods 18 June 2012 - 7:28pm

And how many smokers will seriously want to have their smoking habits machine-swiped every time they want to buy a bag of harmless gear? Come back Orwell, all is forgiven. Fools.

Kevin L. 9 June 2012 - 1:54am / USA / Netherlands

This mayor of Maastricht should shut his piehole. every time he opens his mouth he gives away his school child mentality.

Anonymous 1 June 2012 - 9:04pm / US

When I first visited Holland, I spent 1800 euros on hotels, food, transportation, and sightseeing - in Holland. I only spent about 40 euros on weed. I enjoyed my travels more because I could also enjoy a little weed without worry. I went back again and spent another 1500 euros on hotels, food, transportation, and sightseeing. I only spent about 30 euros on weed. I wanted to enjoy the tolerance, hospitality, and option to not worry about smoking weed - discreetly. The "keep the foreigner's out" policy means the famous Dutch tolerance and hospitality will be harder to find. So, my next trip won't be to Holland.

binnenlander 24 May 2012 - 9:49am

Nederlands is becoming an hypocritic country after all. Less rights, more taxes, overregulation, xenophobic. Conservatism and moral bullshit in their policies...Stupid politicians voted by ignorant people

MadMart 14 May 2012 - 7:32am / west midlands uk

I think the weed pass policy is a farce for a country to have one law for some and a different rule for foreingers is absolutely 100% discrimination. the weed pass will be the destruction of the netherlands whatch hard drug use spiral out of control because the cannabis dealers on the street will normally try to get you buying something stronger too. also there is big confusion what cities and towns the pass aplies to.

Chris Bovey 12 May 2012 - 11:09am / UK

We never thought the Dutch would do this, they have, everything we warned would happen is happening.

Will the Dutch government be stupid in enough to carry on with this crazy proposal? Will the Dutch people who don't support this either grow a pair and tell the govt where to go?

We all know the Weedpass was only introduced because of pressure from other European countries like France, Germany and the UK, who didn't like the successful Dutch policy of tolerance to cannabis showing up their own failed policies of prohibition.

Anonymous 13 May 2012 - 11:55am / UkPL

I definitely agree with you especially the last sentence!

czereza 12 May 2012 - 2:34am

but you are stupid. You will lose tourists from around the world. U was in the country is not what you watch and what to watch. only your herb is attractive ... Now your country turns into a black market;) all the money instead of the state will go to the dealer - You guys are idiots!

J.P. Morgan 11 May 2012 - 3:40pm / The Netherlands

According to Minister Opstelten, Edith Schippers, Grey Wolf Coskun Coruz and the rest of the puritans, once all the coffeeshops are closed, (and that is their ultimate goal), "there won't be any drug nuisance anymore". "Our streets will be safe again."

Anne onymous 12 May 2012 - 1:49am

Our streets will only be safe again once they ban alcohol & poverty.

Growing Marijuana 11 May 2012 - 7:09am / Estados Unidos
Anne onymous 11 May 2012 - 1:23am

If the law was only about stopping drug tourism, then why the strict rules and need to register? Showing a passport & health insurance card should be enough to prove your residency and who you are. They can not expect people to "sigh up" to something that is technically illegal and only tolerated. This law is madness in the face of austerity, and stinks of fanaticism & profiteering. Are they going to legalize it completely and sell it exclusive bij AH? Are they going to exclude cannabis users from healthcare? It's obvious that its about something much bigger than stopping the drug tourists.

karol 11 May 2012 - 6:51pm / Wielka Brytania

stop for drug tourism = stop for any tourism in that country :D

Max Harmreduction 10 May 2012 - 3:25pm

What a shame that todays politicians appear to avoid the big public policy debate on coffeeshops. The Weedpass outcomes, like tourists being beaten up by street dealers, more street dealers, more money going to organised crime is not justified. And this is just the start - the thing organised crime does most effectively is sell drugs like heroin and cocaine to young people. Is that politically correct too? Cheers Max

Woods 9 May 2012 - 6:36pm

'...
In cities in the weed pass area, like the eastern border town of Venlo, growing numbers of illegal drugs dealers are hanging out near coffeeshops...
' ---well, there's a surprise.

As for : According to Mayor Onno Hoes, the residents of his city “can now park their cars in front of their houses. Children can play outside again, and old ladies feel safe when they put their garbage out.” -- what a load of rubbish.

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