04 August 2011
Cannabis cafes in Maastricht are to ban all but Dutch, German and Belgian nationals from their premises as part of a plan to reduce the nuisance caused by marijuana smokers, Trouw reports on Thursday.
Marc Josemans, of the local cannabis cafe owners association, told the paper the ban will reduce the number of marijuana tourists coming to the border town by some 500,000 a year – or 20% of the total. Some 70% of the city’s coffee shop customers come from abroad.
Visitors from Germany and Belgium will still be allowed in the cafes because the two countries border the Netherlands, Trouw says.
The paper says Maastricht city council ‘takes note of the plan but does not support it’. And, it points out, the plan can be considered discriminatory because not all foreigners are being banned.
The council has been trying to reduce drugs tourism for several years.
The national government already has plans to stop everyone who is not an official resident of the Netherlands from buying marijuana in coffee shops by turning them all into members’ only clubs.
The European court of justice has said this is technically possible under EU law.Republish