A group of coffee shops had challenged the government plan, launched after southern cities in the Netherlands complained of increased levels of drug-related crime. The decision means that coffee shops in the south must stop selling cannabis to foreign tourists by May 1, while Dutch and foreign residents will be eligible for a “weed pass” that allows them to purchase it legally. The plan is to be rolled out to other Dutch cities, including the popular tourist center of Amsterdam, by next year. The ban does not extend to carrying or consuming marijuana.
The Netherlands is reconsidering its liberal drug policy and, as a result, becoming more like America. Gasp. As you’d expect, there’s some blowback.
“This is a bad decision, not only for the foreigners who can be discriminated against now, but also for the image of the Netherlands in other countries,” said Maurice Veldman, attorney for a group of cafes that challenged the new law. “We are not a free country anymore because our government asks us to discriminate.”
It’s time to book that weekend trip. Time’s a-ticking.
[H/T: Washington Post]