Cannabis cafe pass scheme falls apart
Thursday 21 May 2009
A plan to make all the cannabis-selling cafes in Limburg province operate as members only clubs is on the verge of collapse, news agency ANP reports on Thursday.
Six of the eight local authority areas where the cafes, known as coffee shops, are located, have pulled out of the scheme, just over a week since it was formally launched.
The plan, which aims to stop tens of thousands of German, Belgian and French nationals buying cannabis over the border, would restrict admittance to the 30 cafes in the region to card carriers. They would only be able to buy a maximum of three grammes of the drug a day.
But the mayors of Venlo, Roermond, Heerlen, Kerkrade, Venray and Weert are angry that the home affairs and justice ministries have refused to make extra police officers and money available to clamp down on street dealers. They fear people refused access to the cafes will buy from ordinary dealers, creating more of a nuisance for locals.
Maastricht mayor Gerd Leers who devised the scheme says he plans to meet officials in June in an effort to get a cash commitment.