The new cabinet plans to press ahead with restricting access to the country’s cannabis cafes to local residents but is dropping the introduction of compulsory registration of users via a membership card system.
‘The wietpas will go but entrance to coffee shops will be restricted to residents with ID or a residency permit and a local council statement of residency,’ the coalition agreement published on Monday afternoon states.
However, the coalition agreement goes on to say that determining how this residency requirement is applied will be done ‘in discussion with the local councils concerned and if necessary phased in’. This will allow a tailor-made approach per locality, the agreement states.
The mayors of the Netherlands four big cities Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht are opposed to the introduction of the cannabis card, saying it will lead to an increase in street dealing.
The coalition agreement would appear to pave the way for the big cities to determine their own policies, but there has not yet been any official comment on this.
The wietpas was introduced in the south of the country in May and is due to go nationwide on January 1 next year.
The document goes on to stress that the government will continue to take action against street dealing and plans to introduce a ‘maximum limit’ to the active ingredients in soft drugs.
Last year a report for the government said marijuana with more than 15% THC – the active ingredient in the drug – is so dangerous it should be classed alongside heroin and cocaine.
Experts say the THC content of Dutch-grown marijuana is between 15% and 18%. Some 75% of the marijuana sold in the country’s cannabis cafes is grown in the Netherlands.
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