The conservative Dutch government was all set to introduce the controversial "weed pass" system, in which Dutch citizens would have to register with the government to buy marijuana at the county's famous cannabis cafes or coffee shops and foreigners would be out of luck, nationwide on January 1, but then the government fell in a September election.
The weed pass system is already in place in selected Dutch border towns, where it was imposed in a bid to stanch the flow of "drug tourists" from more repressive France, Germany, and Belgium. The VVD justice minister, Ivo Opstelten, has described it as "a great success," but there have also been numerous reports of increased street dealing and other prohibition-related nuisances in its wake.
The weed pass system has been strongly opposed by cannabis cafe operators, as well as the administrations of major Dutch cities, such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Weed pass foes organized to get out the vote for left-leaning parties during the brief election campaign, but they may not be happy with the reported compromise solution.
According to Dutch News, the proposed agreement would end the weed pass system for Dutch nationals, but foreigners would not be allowed into the coffee shops. That solution would remove the fear that some Dutch have expressed of being on a government list of marijuana consumers, but would leave foreign visitors to Holland to look for their marijuana on the streets -- one of the very ills the coffee houses were meant to address.
The weed pass issue is one of the few remaining bones of contention between Labor and the VVD. The two parties will have to come up with some sort of compromise on it before they can form a new government.