Dutch Government Seeks Ban on Foreigners in Coffee Shops

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by RMJL, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. Dutch Government Seeks Ban on Foreigners in Coffee Shops

    The conservative coalition led by the Christian Democrats that currently governs the Netherlands has floated a proposal to restrict access to the country's famous cannabis coffee shops to Dutch nationals. The government has said it is responding to foreign pressure, notably from Germany, whose hash-hungry citizens flood across the border by the thousands each day to score, but the attack on the coffee shops fits precisely with the coalition's own anti-drug agenda.

    The Netherlands effectively decriminalized marijuana possession in 1976, and in the years since, the country's coffee houses have been tolerated as a technically illegal but socially acceptable means of allowing for the consumption and sale of cannabis. Although down from a peak of more than 1,200 coffee houses a few years ago, more than 800 are currently open, generating more than $3 billion in gross sales and nearly $340 million in tax revenues each year. The coffee shops have generated visible foreign "drug tourism" for at least 20 years as repressed Americans, Germans, and Britons, among others, seek to sample what they view as the sweet life.

    First notice of the proposed move came last week, when the German newspaper Deutsche Welle reported on a meeting between German Interior Minister Otto Schily and Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner to discuss cooperation in efforts to fight the international drug trade. According to Deutsche Welle, Germany wanted the Dutch to completely shut down the coffee shops, and Donner countered with an offer to bar foreigners from using them. Under Donner's plan, people would need a pass card or membership to enter the shops, and such cards would be limited to Dutch residents.

    But if initial reactions are any guide, Donner and the Christian Democrats are in for a battle. The coffee shops certainly aren't going along quietly. "It's totally ridiculous. The minister is stupid. If this system comes in, all the tourists will buy from criminals in the street," Arjan Roskam, of the Union of Cannabis Retailers, told the Expatica news service. The plan is "worthless," he added.

    Nol van Shaik, owner of the Willie Wortels coffee shops, was less diplomatic. "Donner must have been on some strange dope when he thought this all up," von Shaik fumed in an e-mail bemoaning the move. "It is too insane to have to respond to this brainwave of a right-wing Catholic politician." The plan would be unworkable, van Shaik wrote, not least of all because people like him would actively work to sabotage it. "If Donner's scheme is accepted and executed, we will always have a host available, wearing a t-shirt with the following print: I buy cannabis for foreigners!"

    Venlo, a town of 90,000 along the German border that is home to five official coffee shops, numerous unsanctioned ones, as well as independent hard drug dealers, is ground zero in the drug tourism debate. Within 30 miles of some five million Germans, Venlo alone sees some 4,000 German cannabis buyers each day. While the town has complained of unruliness around the drug trade, the Venlo Council has gone on record as opposing the ban on foreigners, agreeing with the coffee shop union that it would spark an explosive increase in illegal drug dealing.

    The Association of Dutch Municipalities has been cautious, the British newspaper the Guardian reported. The association will await definite plans before taking a stand, it said.

    The proposal is by no means a done deal. "The proposal is being debated these days and the outcome is unclear yet," said Dutch psychiatrist and drug researcher Frederick Polak of the Netherlands Drug Policy Foundation. It is uncertain that even the parties that make up the coalition with the Christian Democrats will go along, he told DRCNet. "The opposition in parliament comes from not only the Green Party and the progressive Liberals, but also from the conservative Liberals. It is unclear yet what the Social Democrats, the second largest party, will do."

    Van Shaik, for his part, had advice for all involved in the scheme. "Minister Donner should have told off the Germans, the French and even the UN, if he is a true representative of his country, a country with the best and only drug policy in the world -- one can hardly call prohibition a policy. If it is, it is a dictatorial policy," the coffee shop baron fulminated. "Minister Donner should have told the German Justice Minister to keep his cannabis consumers in his own country, by making cannabis available in registered outlets, because cannabis consumption in Germany is higher than in his country, the Netherlands, where cannabis is available through coffee shops. Minister Donner should tell the UN, the US, and France to try and do something about the growing consumption of cannabis in their countries, without it being available, except from the dangerous black market, where all drugs are sold by the same suppliers, without any control on quality and prices," van Shaik recommended.

    "Minister Donner will do none of this -- he just sucks up to the big countries, with their big drug problems, and he will just try to close as many coffee shops as he possibly can, following the line of his political party, blind as a mule, deaf as a mole, and as dumb as an ass," van Shaik predicted.

    And, of course, eliminating the coffee shops is in line with Christian Democrat policies. Prime Minister Balkenende vowed to do as much before he was elected, and his government has given sign after sign it wants to crack down on drugs. Interior Minister Johan Remkes not long ago tried to ban Dutch police from frequenting coffee shops (http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/302/dutchcops.shtml), the government has been busy building "emergency" jail cells for drug smugglers pouring into Schipol Airport, and Minister Donner is now threatening to withdraw the landing rights of any airline found to be regularly carrying drug mules from the Caribbean. And now he wants to keep the foreigners out of the coffee shops. According to the Guardian, the Dutch government will introduce a new general drug policy proposal in December. Stay tuned.

  2. So I hear this will finally take effect 1/1/13...

    There goes their tourism industry...
    Why else go there - Hookers:confused::rolleyes:
  3. [quote name='"ImTheJoker4u2"']So I hear this will finally take effect 1/1/13...

    There goes their tourism industry...
    Why else go there - Hookers:confused::rolleyes:[/quote]

    Why the FUCK did you comment on this
  4. Why not?

    Its taking effect in less than a year...
    Last chance to hit up a shop before they close them to tourists:(
  5. This thread was started in 2003, it's not going through...
  6. According to who?? The stars? Your intuition??
    SMH - I LOVE when people just start talking without knowing WTF they're talking about....
    This is from less than a month ago...

    Dutch delay ban on pot for tourists - USATODAY.com

  7. This is from less than a month ago? Oh, that's why it's from 2003 you silly person.

    This was published recently by the Cannabis Retailers Association, might be of interest to anyone visiting Amsterdam in the future.

    The concept of a ‘weed pass’ that would restrict tourists from visiting coffeehsops in the Netherlands has been on the table for some time. Reports that such a pass will be applied in Amsterdam are, however, completely without foundation. The Mayor and Council of Amsterdam are radically opposed to such a scheme and it will not be implemented in the city.
    [​IMG]For over thirty years coffeeshops in Amsterdam have provided a safe and controlled environment for consumption of soft drugs. This will remain so in the future. The wide choice of coffeeshops available to tourists means that they will have no need buy their cannabis on the street. Thus the coffeeshops are fulfilling exactly the function for which they were established.

    Put forward by the Dutch Justice Minister, Ivo Opstelten, the ‘weed pass’ is still at proposal stage and will not even be discussed by the Dutch Parliament until 2012. What is more the Supreme Court equivalent in the Netherlands, the Council of State, has ruled that discrimination against tourists is outside of the law unless those tourists are responsible for more public disorder than residents. Within its ruling the Council of State made an exception under which, in cases of severe public disturbance, mayors may discriminate against nonresidents provided they can be proved to be responsible. Since coffeeshops are notorious for their peaceful and non-violent ambiance -- no coffeeshop has ever been charged under a public order act -- such an exception is somewhat academic.

    The ‘weed pass’ proposal was originally formulated in response to cross-border criminal buyers of large quantities of cannabis and large numbers of tourist buyers in the most southerly Limburg province of the Netherlands, notably in the town of Maastricht.

    The proposal was intended for implementation in Maastricht and other towns in Limburg and never for implementation nationally. \t\t

    YOU ARE WRONG. JUST HORRIBLY WRONG. STOP BUMPING THIS THREAD NOW. People have been trying to say that this would be put into effect for many years, and it's still not.
  8. Really - The article I cited was
    I didnt see where yours is from, or when it was last updated:confused:
  9. My article's about 2 months older than yours.

    Oh, and here's part of your article that supports mine :
    "Amsterdam is fighting the measure because opponents say it discriminates against foreigners and could lead to a sale of soft drugs on the streets."The Dutch government has decided upon this for the whole of the Netherlands. Amsterdam doesn't want it," Machteld Ligtvoet, a spokeswoman from the Amsterdam tourism board told CNN this summer."

    So no, it's very very very unlikely coffee shops will be closed to tourists in Amsterdam anytime soon. At least read your sources? :confused: Not to mention, "USAToday" is far from a site that accurately reports about another countries affairs.
  10. I read my source - And quoted it..
    I know they have been trying to do this for some time....The article is sketchy for sure. One sentence says its being banned, the next says its not....:confused_2:
  11. That's why I just don't believe everything in the article is true. Why would they ban pretty much all of Amsterdam's income? I don't think this would work, even if it went through.Coffee shop's wouldn't enforce, and the cops would still focus on bigger things than foreigners with weed.

    Nothing against you, but I just think that you could've made a new thread rather than bump this one. What they're discussing now is still quite a bit different than what they were discussing back then. :smoke:
  12. Really?? I guess I need to brush up on my reading comprehension.....
    First sentence of the first paragraph:
  13. It's not led by the same people, not for the same reasons, etc... it's the same idea of closing down all coffee shop's to foreigners, but that's it.

    The person currently trying to implement this is "Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten", not a conservative coalition of christian democrats.
  14. So lemme get this straight...
    2003: They wanna ban foreigners from buying cannabis in coffee shops
    2012: They wanna ban foreigners from buying cannabis in coffee shops

    And this is different how????

    Are you fuckin trollin me?????????:rolleyes:
  15. You could just stop a dutch person on a street, kindly ask them to go in and buy you whatever you desire, and in return, you'll smoke a joint with them or let them keep the change... whatever. It's not going to be the least effective.
  16. Der da der....

    Yea its as dumb as prohibition:laughing:
  17. Was it something i said?
  18. They currently want to ban it because "The cities support the plan, hoping it will solve problems caused by German and Belgians who drive across the border just to buy the drug.", while back then it was "The government has said it is responding to foreign pressure, notably from Germany"
  19. So they're trying to do the same thing, but for different reasons.
    Still trying to do the same thing:rolleyes:
  20. It's different people trying to prevent different things with different circumstances. WHY bump a 7 year old thread? There's 4 month old threads about this subject.

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