Dutch border city places ban on cannabis tourism

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on October 3, 2011

A ban on certain foreign tourists is now in force in cannabis-selling coffee shops across Maastricht, a Dutch border city.

Authorities say that the influx of tourists purchasing soft drugs has been threatening public order while causing major traffic problems. Unitedly up in arms, coffee shop owners say that the ban is going to prove unsuccessful and will negatively impact the local economy. What must be noted is that the ban doesn’t apply to visitors that hail from Germany or Belgium, groups that make up the majority of the city’s foreign customers. These move come ahead of proposed nationwide crackdowns being discussed by members of the Dutch parliament.

According to correspondents, the ban is being touted as a test case for possible implementation across other towns and cities in the Netherlands. Presently, there are around 700 Dutch coffee shops. Cultivation and sale of cannabis is decriminalised but still not legal. It is estimated that 6,000 people head to Maastricht’s coffee shops each day - most of them making the quick and easy trip across borders shared with Belgium and Germany. As of this week though, anyone without a passport from these countries will have to leave if confronted by the local police force, which has been given orders to carry out random checks with new security scanners.

{ 1 comment }

cj October 4, 2011 at 7:23 am

What a shame!

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