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Cannabis card comes into force

Tuesday 01 May 2012

No%20drugs Maastricht has already begun warning tourists about the new policy. Photo: WFA

Cannabis cafes in Zeeland, Brabant and Limburg closed their doors to drugs tourists on Tuesday morning when the new registration system came into effect.

From now on, anyone wanting to buy hashish and marijuana from these coffee shops will have to prove they live in the Netherlands and register for a special membership card or wietpas.

It is the first step in a new law designed to restrict sales to Netherlands' residents in order to combat drug tourism and reduce public nuisance. It will be rolled out across the country in 2013.

Coffee shop owners in Maastricht, who in April lost a court case on the grounds the law is discriminatory and infringes privacy, say they will go on selling to tourists until they provoke a test case, according to press reports.

© DutchNews.nl

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Readers' comments (7)

"From now on, anyone wanting to buy hashish and marijuana from these coffee shops will have to prove they live in the Netherlands"...........Or simply contact a street dealer.....

By Marco | May 1, 2012 8:57 AM

Now watch the problems this causes - unnecessary problems in my opinion. The Dutch are traders, business people - the dealing will not stop as long as there is a nice profit involved. The Dutch cops will NEVER be able to control and handle all the problems this will cause.

By Bill | May 1, 2012 9:53 AM

But it's not just foreign tourists that they will have to turn away. Once the Coffeeshops have filled their quota of 2000 local clients they cannot sell to any other Dutch residents. This will mean that people who live in Holland but are visiting another part of Holland, as tourists, will be discriminated against.

By Gerard | May 1, 2012 9:55 AM

Or to put it another way, today the government rolled out its plan to encourage street dealing... in Amsterdam the dealers are planning to deliver (like pizza)... and I will be a criminal. Good job politicians.

By adrian | May 1, 2012 12:30 PM

Deals on wheels are already up and running.Have been for a long time.This law will only profit crminal gangs.

By jason buttle | May 1, 2012 3:38 PM

Everything, except the coffee shop sales, is already in the hand of criminal gangs. Or do the comments here believe that the growth of cannabis is a regulated process, with workers who pay taxes, VAT, etc.
The Dutch gedoogbeleid is a monstrosity that isn't sustainable anymore for the loads of people that buy cannabis. Unfortunately I am pretty sure that the wietpas isn't the solution either.
Maybe tourists screaming for the injustice should contact the politicians of their home country, asking to allow the sale of cannabis.

By pepe | May 1, 2012 7:32 PM

First it puts cannabis into the hands of organised crime, then the criminals promote drugs like heroin to young cannabis users. That is Harm Maximisation for young people experimenting with weed. It might be legal to do this but it is immoral and damaging to public health.

By Max Harmreduction | May 2, 2012 1:14 AM

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