Four arrested in Maastricht cannabis cafe raids

Four people were arrested in Maastricht on Thursday night after police raided two of the city’s 11 cannabis cafes for selling soft drugs to tourists in a new get-tough policy ordered by the mayor.

 

So far there have been seven raids on the southern city’s coffee shops since they announced plans to ignore the ban on serving non-residents.

In one cafe, police found 13 tourists, in the other 17. All the cannabis was confiscated.

Court

By law the cafes, known as coffee shops, are only allowed to sell marijuana to people who officially live in the Netherlands.

However, a court ruling last month in favour of one coffee shop, closed by Maastricht mayor Onno Hoes because it broke the rules, has given rise to hopes the ban on foreigners may be dropped.

In addition, the bigger northern cities – Amsterdam in particular – have said they will use their discretion about imposing the ban, which means in effect it is being ignored.

The court ruling, which Hoes is appealing, said the mayor had failed to make it clear why foreigners should be excluded from the right to buy marijuana.


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