Breda urges new cabinet to reverse cannabis club rules
Breda city council is to urge the new coalition cabinet to scrap the introduction of a members only system for the country’s cannabis cafes, arguing it has created more problems than it has solved, the Telegraaf reports on Friday.
Labour councillors have taken the lead in writing to the cabinet negotiators Henk Kamp and Wouter Bos, urging them to focus on solving problems associated with soft drugs rather than create new ones, the paper says.
Local VVD councillors have not signed the letter. They say its conclusions are premature and without nuance.
On a national level, the VVD and Labour are currently in talks on forming a new government.
Since May 1, cannabis cafes in the south of the country have been turned into members only clubs and soft drug users have to register in order to be able to buy small quantities of marijuana. Members must prove they live in the locality.
The aim of the new rules, which are set to go nationwide in 2013, is to reduce drugs tourism. However, there is growing evidence that the introduction of the cannabis card – or wietpas – has led to an increase in street dealing.
The four big cities, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht, are opposed to the introduction of the card system.
A spokesman for Utrecht’s mayor said on Thursday that the city does not experience the problems the introduction of the card is supposed to solve. Earlier this week, Rotterdam’s mayor urged the cabinet negotiators to reconsider.
Amsterdam’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan has opposed the introduction of the pass in the capital, where cannabis cafes are a major tourist draw, since it was first mooted.
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