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  1. Balzafire
    AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Dutch Cabinet says it will push ahead with plans to force anyone wishing to purchase marijuana at the country's weed cafes to first obtain an official pass — a move designed to curtail tourists from buying the drug.

    Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he plans to begin rolling out the system in the country's south later this year, an area popular with French and German buyers, before moving on to Amsterdam's famed tourist cafes later in his term.

    Justice Ministry spokesman Wim van der Weegen said Friday the supreme court must still rule on whether foreigners can be blocked entirely.

    Regardless, he said the plan will prevent cafes from issuing more than 1,500 permits in all, forcing shop owners to choose between tourists and their regular customers.

    Associated Press
    May 27, 2011


  1. Alfa
    I read that they now plan to add a maximum of 1000 or 1500 passes per coffeeshop. That is going to severely limit the sales of coffeeshops and exclude a lot of people. The street dealers and underground coffeeshops will be happy, as they will get alot of new business.
  2. mersann
    Don't you think that foreigners are sometimes the 'best' customers extremely close to the border?

    And how would they choose the people? Ask them how often they come there? Just if they already know their faces, so they know they'll come there regularly? If they unluckily choose a person who just buys once, what happens? And over time less and less people will make use of their passes, because they move or die or simply don't buy weed any longer. Even with an expiration date or so, I'm not sure this will work well.

    Apart from the fact that I understand that this comes from a really restrictive government and they probably eventually want to get rid of the coffeeshops, this does not sound like a thought-out idea at all.
  3. Alfa
    The only objective of this plan is to further reduce coffeeshops sales. They will keep on limiting and reducing coffeeshops until its no big deal to completely remove them.
  4. Motorhead
    This has been in the works for some years now. They even have a name for it in the Amsterdam area:Project 1012,
  5. Alfa
    Project 1012 is only in the 1012 zipcode area. (Red Light district and Amsterdam city center)
    But the Dutch government has indeed been very creative with finding new ways to close or restrict Dutch coffeeshops.
    Your 1st link doesn't work.
  6. Motorhead
    Thanks for the clarification. My link was to a results page from the 'advanced search', worked for me when i previewed it. The tag cloud for this subject is broad.
  7. C.D.rose
    Indeed that's what yesterday's NOS journaal reported as well. At 670 coffeeshops, that would mean a maximum of a little more than 1 million allowed customers in all of the Netherlands. This doesn't even remotely make sense to me, not just in ideological terms but also practically.

    I have and I will keep my faith in the Dutch people that such policies will either not be implemented, or eventually repealed. Please don't prove me wrong.

    By the way, another possibility that could develop is to have "420 doctors" much like in California, though they would probably be unattractive because the weed in pharmacies is more expensive. Street dealing seems like a more plausible solution.
  8. Alfa
    Probably they will keep reducing the number of allowed coffeeshop passes. The coffeeshop passes will be the next stick to hit coffeeshops with though. Currently coffeeshops may sell to 1000 people a day. With the coffeeshop passes, this would be limited to 1000 a week, while many people would loose access to cannabis. Naturally there will be passholders that start making money by buying and selling.

    Psssst. Hey do you want some weed?

    Since coffeeshops have lost a massive part of their income, they will not intervene with such activity. They have little choice but to turn a blind eye.
    The police will take notice and the coffeeshops will be punished, possibly closed for fraude with the passes. Mark my words. Its a trap.
  9. C.D.rose
    Hmm, seeing the already quite high prices for weed in coffeeshops, this would then of course drive up the possible profit on the black market even further. Plus, I don't think that foreigners will no longer come to the Netherlands for weed. I guess "real" tourists won't come anymore, i.e. people who would travel from far away in order to experience Amsterdam, but Germans and Belgians in particular will still come for the higher quality of products. ("Higher quality" unless they grow themselves, but these people probably didn't go the Netherlands before anyway.)

    Maybe it's all just a scam, and they try to cash in on all the people who will go to Amsterdam over the summer to "experience Amsterdam one last time", and then in fall they'll announce they scrapped the plans. ;)

    No I do see what you mean by a trap, I just wonder whether the next government , and the government after that etc., will continue with these plans. I found the recent statenverkiezingen quite inconclusive, on the one hand the PvdA improved their scores, on the other hand the PVV jumped from 0 to 10 (or 11?) seats in the First Chamber. I'm wondering in how far the economic crisis of 2008 has given rise to right-wing parties (True Finns in Finland etc.), or whether Europe is currently moving to the right as a general trend. Curiously, Germany is an exception here. Not only does it not (yet) have a right-wing populist party, but the Greens are currently gaining ground quite quickly. Who knows, maybe in ten years Berlin will be the new Amsterdam? ;) Actually I doubt it, but who knows.
  10. Balzafire
    Cannabis cafes set to become private clubs, no entry for tourists

    [imgl=white]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=20440&stc=1&d=1306693391[/imgl]The cabinet is pressing ahead with plans to turn all cafes selling small amounts of cannabis into members’ only clubs, accessible only to people officially living in the Netherlands.

    Ministers say turning the so-called coffee shops into private clubs will reduce drugs-related tourism and public nuisance.

    Soft drug users will be able to get a membership card if they are aged 18 and over, are Dutch or can prove they live legally in the Netherlands. Café’s will have a maximum amount of members, put at between 1,000 and 1,500 in some media reports.

    Coffee shops must also be at least 350 walk metres from secondary schools.

    Street dealers

    Ministers say they expect the closure of coffee shops to tourists will lead to a reduction in drugs-related tourism. Nevertheless, ‘adequate measures’ will be taken by police and officials to make sure the move does not lead to an increase in street dealing.

    Amsterdam city council continues to oppose the introduction of the membership card. ’We are concerned about the problems that will arise from large-scale street dealing,’ said a spokesman for Eberhard van der Laan.

    ‘There are also health concerns, because with street dealing we cannot monitor the quality of the soft drugs or the age of the buyers,’ he said.

    Organised crime

    The government is also planning to increase efforts to drive organised crime out of the production and trade of marijuana and to seize the assets of convicted drugs criminals.

    The illegal growing industry is thought to be worth some €2bn a year. According to the Telegraaf, some 40,000 people are involved in marijuana cultivation and some 5,000 plantations are busted every year.

    The crack-down on coffee shops follows the recommendations of a government commission in 2009 which said jashish and marijuana contain far more active ingredients than they did when the policy of turning a blind eye to their use was introduced in the 1970s.

    At the same time, the bigger the coffee shops get, the more likely they are to be in the hands of organised crime. To that end, the commission recommended cafes become smaller and should only sell to locals.


    Maastricht has already closed its coffee shops to tourists because of the nuisance while the border towns of Roosendaal and Bergen op Zoom have got rid of coffee shops altogether.

    The concept of coffee shops was introduced in the 1970s to separate hard and soft drugs. The country’s 500 or so coffee shops are permitted to stock up to 500 grams of soft drugs while users can have up to five grammes for personal use.


    Last July, a senior European legal official said the Netherlands was within its rights to ban tourists from coffee shops.

    Advocate general Yves Bot said he considers the move necessary to protect public order and reduce the nuisance caused by drugs tourism. In addition, the ban would contribute to European efforts to combat the illegal drugs trade, Bot said.

    The Netherlands highest court, the Council of State, has asked the European court to determine if the Maastricht ban conflicts with EU laws.

    The Dutch court is currently hearing an appeal by a local cafe owner who was forced to close in 2006 after two non-Dutch nationals were found on his premises.

    28 May 2011
  11. TheBigBadWolf
    please forgive me but I had to answer to the above.
    This whole post leads:eek:fftopic:
    I think it may be seen as a general trend in Europe.
    Gladly the right-wing populists (NPD, DVU, Die Republikaner) in Germany are deeply in odds with one another. But the CDU/CSU is right-wing enough, IMO.
    The growth of the greens seems to be due to the japanese nuclear power station desaster.
    We have had seven years of SPD/Grüne government and they did nothing concerning drug use or drug users, they blindly followed the US "War on Drugs"policy.
    Nevertheless: lets hope Berlin becomes a kind of new Amsterdam.

  12. talltom
    Here's another account. This says shops may have a maximum 1,500 members for residents.

    No More Marijuana for Tourists in Amsterdam

    If you like to travel to Amsterdam in order to smoke marijuana legally, you may want to book one final trip very soon -- pot will soon be banned for tourists. According to a report in the New York Daily News, the Dutch government on Friday announced that by the end of the year, tourists will no longer be allowed to buy marijuana at Amsterdam's infamous "coffee shops," or even enter them.]The right wing government, which came into power last year, said it is making the move to fight crime and promote good health.

    "In order to tackle the nuisance and criminality associated with coffee shops and drug trafficking, the open-door policy of coffee shops will end," Dutch health and justice ministers wrote in a letter to the country's parliament.

    Critics say the ban could severely damage tourism to The Netherlands, particularly Amsterdam, home to 220 opposing coffee shops, which themselves are big tourist attractions. They also fear it could lead to a black market for drugs.

    The new rules will also make it difficult for locals to buy pot. Amsterdam residents would have to sign up at a coffee shop for a one-year membership, and each shop will have a maximum 1,500 members.

    Mark Berman
    Opposing Views
    May 28, 2011

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