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Dutch Government Nixes Plan to Bar Foreigners from Coffee Shops

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #757)
Politics & Advocacy

There will be no national "weed pass" for marijuana consumers in the Netherlands. The Associated Press has reported that the new Dutch coalition government has agreed on a provisional governing pact that kills the "weed pass" plan proposed last year by the then-ruling conservatives, but gives cities the option of banning foreigners from the country's famous cannabis cafes.

Amsterdam's cannabis cafes will remain open to foreign visitors. (
With the "weed pass" proposal, foreigners were to have been banned from the cannabis cafes nationwide as of next year, and Dutch nationals would have been required to register with the state to obtain a permit (the "weed pass") to be able to purchase marijuana at the cafes. The plan had already gone into effect in some border cities.

It was touted as reducing "drug tourism" and associated nuisances in border towns. But since it was put in place in selected border towns, some cannabis cafes have closed in protest, while reports of increased street dealing have been on the increase.

Under the governing pact between left-leaning Labor and the conservative VVD, the government says it wants only Dutch citizens to have access to the cafes, but leaves enforcement up to the cities. The city of Amsterdam, among others, has already rejected the "weed pass" idea, saying it would hurt tourism.

Some cannabis café owners told the AP they are satisfied that the country's policy of pragmatic tolerance toward will remain intact, but others said the proposed deal lacked clarity.

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nigel the graet (not verified)

Good call.Myself and 4 or sometimes 5 friends go there twice a year,spend about 7k between hotels food and drink.The thing we love is having a smoke early in the evening and then going for dinner.Nothing mad or loud,just relaxed.We would have picked somewhere with cheaper hotels and food n drink if there a ban.

Wed, 10/31/2012 - 8:33pm Permalink
jway (not verified)

Fantastic!! The best thing is that prohibitionists were interpreting the ban as a sign that legalization had failed. Now they'll have to stop doing this. Legalization has worked well for alcohol, and legalization will work just as well for cannabis!

Thu, 11/01/2012 - 2:17pm Permalink

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