While Amsterdam coffeeshop owners hope to be able to work out a political compromise to remain open for non-Dutch, it looks like the rest of The Netherlands will quickly move to embrace these court-ordered changes to their business model.
Let’s hope that this past High Times Cannabis Cup Awards will not be the last!
From the Huffington Post –
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Long famous for “coffee shops” where joints and cappuchinos share the menu, the Netherlands’ famed tolerance for drugs could be going up in smoke.
A judge on Friday upheld a government plan to ban non-Dutch residents from buying marijuana by introducing a “weed pass” available only to residents.
The new regulation reins in one of the country’s most cherished symbols of tolerance – its laissez-faire attitude to soft drugs – and reflects the drift away from a long-held view of the Netherlands as a free-wheeling utopia.
For many tourists visiting Amsterdam the image endures – and smoking a joint in a canalside coffee shop ranks high on their to-do lists along with visiting cultural highlights like the Van Gogh Museum.
The city’s left-leaning Mayor Eberhard van der Laan is hoping to hammer out a compromise with the national government.
Coffee shops also have not given up the fight. A week ago they mustered a few hundred patrons for a “smoke-in” in downtown Amsterdam to protest the new restrictions.
A lawyer for owners, Maurice Veldman, said he would file an appeal against the ruling by a judge at The Hague District court, which clears the way for the weed pass to be introduced in southern provinces on May 1.
Read more here…
View full post on NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform