Mixed views about success of new cannabis cafe rules

The new rules banning tourists from cannabis cafes in the south of the country have been welcomed by people living close to the cafes in Maastricht, mayor Onno Hoes told news agency ANP on Tuesday.

‘The system is workable,’ Hoes said. The ban was introduced in the south of the country at the beginning May and will be expanded nationwide in 2013. The government hopes the new rules will reduce drugs tourism and criminality.
The mayor told reporters he did not know if the positive signs were due to the fact 13 of the city’s 14 cannabis cafes have closed their doors in protest at the new policy.
In addition, he admitted 20 street dealers have been arrested since the new law came into effect. This is more than usual, Hoes said.
Meanwhile, Labour councillors in Venlo say the ban has led to such a surge in street dealing that they have set up a hotline where locals can report problems. Councillor Hay Janssen said the south of the country is now suffering from a ‘tsunami of drug runners’.
‘This has serious consequences for the safety and atmosphere in villages and towns,’ he said.
Nu.nl also reports that the ban, which also requires locals to register as official cannabis users, has led to an increase in drugs tourism in Nijmegen. The ban is not yet in force in the city. ‘Sales have gone up by 20% to 30%,’ one coffee shop owner told the website.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation