Cannabis smoking ban for foreigners

Cannabis smoking ban for foreigners

Dutch to ban foreigners from cannabis coffee shops.

Is banning foreigners from cannabis coffee shops in Holland tourism suicide? Up to a million Britons visit Amsterdam every year, and many will smoke or take cannabis while they are there.

For years it has been seen as a rite of passage for Britons, but the weekend break to Holland to enjoy cannabis smoking in coffee shops has taken a serious blow.

From January, coffee shops in the southern provinces of Limburg, North-Brabant and Zeeland will be designated as private members clubs, effectively barring foreign visitors. Under legislation spearheaded by far-right politicians, only Dutch residents will be able to enter the cannabis-selling premises.

The lucrative trade in the capital Amsterdam will, for now, be unaffected. Under the new policy, licensed coffee shops in the south of the country will be considered private clubs with a maximum of 2,000 members.

Each member, who must be over 18-years-of-age, will be asked to carry an identity card. The measures, which will become law on January 1st in the south of the country, will come into force in the rest of the country – including Amsterdam – in January 2013.

There are about 220 coffee shops in Amsterdam, with a further 450 spread across the country. Despite complaints banning foreigners was prejudiced; the European Court of Justice supported the decision.

A statement from the Dutch health and justice ministries said: “We attract other types of tourists apart from drugs tourists. This law will put an end to the nuisance and criminality associated with coffee shops and drugs trafficking.”

Though technically illegal, the Netherlands decriminalised the possession of less than .18 ounce of cannabis in 1976 under a tolerance policy.

One Comment

  1. Dave G says:

    so tourists that would like to experience openly smoking a joint while having a beverage are criminals? How about banning them from using your prostitutes? Prostitution Is ok over someone smoking a joint? I can see this backwards discriminatory useless law being revoked after the Dutch authorities realize the loss in tourism revenue. I’ve decided to travel elsewhere this year in Europe based on principle, principles against discrimination. Amsterdam can wait, and wait, and wait….


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