Cannabis card comes into force
Tuesday 01 May 2012
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.
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