'Wietpas' costs Maastricht €500,000 in lost income
Tuesday 06 November 2012
Maastricht council has lost out on over €500,000 in fines and parking tickets, mainly as a result of the marijuana or 'wiet' card, a council spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.
Since cannabis cafes were closed to tourists on May 1, 4,000 fewer fines have been imposed at a loss of €200,000. Parking tickets are down 140,000, which accounts for €340,000.
The spokesman was reacting to reports in Limburg newspapers on the effect of the pass system, which has turned cannabis cafes into members-only clubs, says the Telegraaf.
In September, Maastricht mayor Onno Hoes said locals should no longer have to formally register as users to buy soft drugs from the city's cannabis cafes.
Since then, the new coalition government, sworn in on Monday, has decided to scrap the registration system for locals and find an alternative way of dealing with drugs tourists.