Monday, June 27, 2011

Plans to stop non-Dutch residents from buying Amsterdam pot thwarted

UK Cultivator

CANNABIS Law Reform (CLEAR) has welcomed news that controversial plans to forbid foreigners from buying cannabis in Amsterdam’s famous coffeeshops have been shelved.

The Dutch government had wanted to introduce the Weedpass scheme, which would have prohibited non-Dutch nationals from buying cannabis in the country’s famously liberal coffeeshops.

Critics of the proposals said it would drive the trade in cannabis on to the streets, damage the Dutch tourist industry and lose taxation revenue.

The legality of it has also been questioned, as it would discriminate against EU citizens.

However, it was announced the Dutch Tolerance Policy will be renewed from 1st July 2011 and will be valid until June 30th 2015.

This means the Weedpass can only be implemented through local legislation.

Since City Councils like Amsterdam do not want the Weedpass scheme and local politicians such as the Mayor of Haarlem have said they do not want it either, it means it will not be possible to implement for at least 4 years.

Peter Reynolds, leader of CLEAR, said he was "delighted this ridiculous scheme looks like history".

“European countries have been putting pressure on the Dutch to end their liberal policies on cannabis, as they have been seen as a success and show up their own failed policies of prohibition.

“I now call on all European governments to follow the Dutch example and allow the regulated sale of cannabis to adults."

Nol van Schaik, a coffeeshop entrepreneur from Haarlem said, “I’m very happy to see there are still some Dutch politicians with common sense.

“I say, let the weed pass from the Dutch coffeeshops to those who want it, from wherever they are. I call upon the German, French and Belgium cannabis aficionados to try to open their own cannabis outlets; the EU will let you do it,” said Mr van Shaik.

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