Cannabis cafe non-resident ban is not discrimination: advocate general

Banning non-residents from the Netherlands’ cannabis cafes does not conflict with the law, the Council of State’s advocate general Leen Keus said on Tuesday.

The Council of State, which is the country’s highest administrative court, will rule early next year on whether the state was correct to close two coffee shops in Maastricht because they refused to implement the ban.

In the statement, Keus said the ban is not against Dutch, international or European law and did not lead to unlawful discrimination.

Maastricht mayor Onno Hoes welcomed the advocate general’s position and said he looked forward to the Council of State ruling with confidence.

The government wants to ban non-residents from using the country’s 500 or so ‘coffee shops’ in an effort to cut down on drugs tourism and public nuisance. A number of cities, including Amsterdam, have not yet imposed the measure.