Foreigners at Tilburg festivals can buy weed in coffee shops, minister says

Photo: wollertz
Photo: wollertz

Tilburg council has been cleared to allow foreigners to access the city’s cannabis cafes while two festivals are under way, broadcaster NOS said on Tuesday.

Junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff told parliament that he does not plan to call Tilburg to order, even though it is illegal to allow non-residents to buy marijuana in coffee shops.

Tilburg’s mayor Peter Noordanus recently agreed to allow foreign visitors to the Roadburn and Woo Hah! festivals to use the coffee shops – if they show their ticket. Both festivals are popular with a ‘coffee shop public,’ NOS said.

Christian Democrat MPs are furious at the move. ‘Can it get any madder,’ said MP Madeleine van Toorenburg is quoted as saying. ‘An organ of government is using a festival ticket as a ‘get out of jail free’ card so people can take drugs.’ The measure, she said, is undermining the principles behind the government’s coffee shop policy.

Dijkhoff told MPs that the law allows ‘local measures’. While mayors are supposed to enforced the ‘locals only’ policy, it is up to them, together with the police and public prosecution department to decide how to do this,’ he said.

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