Tourists to be banned from Dutch coffee shops

The Dutch government will go ahead to introduce the “weed pass” (wietpas) to prevent tourists from buying marijuana in coffee shops in the Netherlands.

A Dutch judge has ruled that tourists can legally be banned from entering famous Dutch marijuana cafés, in a bid to end drug tourism to the Netherlands.

The new law is designed to cut the numbers of drug tourists who, some residents had complained, were creating nuisances like traffic jams and an increase of hard drug dealers on the streets.

The change in the law is also designed to reduce cross-border crime caused by foreigners coming to the Netherlands to buy their drugs then returning to sell them illegally at home.

Dutch Coffee shops will become members-only clubs and will have a limited memberships to 2,000 Dutch citizens per shop, to residents over the age of 18.

The plan will take effect May 1 in the southern provinces of Zeeland, North Brabant and Limburg and spread to the rest of the Netherlands, including Amsterdam, next year.

The group of 19 coffee shop owners who took the case to court claims the weed pass is illegal because it discriminates between EU citizens on the basis of where they live and infringes peoples’ privacy. The weed pass can only be requested at a coffee shop in your hometown and tourists are banned.

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