Cabinet to fund cannabis pass trials
Wednesday 26 August 2009
The government is to invest €150,000 in a trial to introduce entry cards for cannabis-selling cafes in Maastricht.
Maastricht city council hopes introducing membership cards for so-called coffee shops will reduce the nuisance caused by tourists coming to the city specifically to buy drugs. The scheme was first mooted earlier this year.
In addition, ministers are to put €6m into council experiments to tackle problems associated with coffee shops, where users can buy up to five grammes of the drug without fear of prosecution. In particular they want to reduce the number of bigger coffee shops and try to reduce the involvement of organised crime.
The Netherlands has some 700 cafes selling cannabis.
The towns of Roosendaal and Bergen op Zoom on the Dutch-Belgian border said last year they plan to close down all the cafes which sell marijuana because of the problems being caused by drug tourists.