[typography font=”Droid Serif” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#ff830f”]An odd little country[/typography]
The Netherlands are sometimes seen as a test tube for the rest of the world, due to its high population density, with a diverse in societal composition. The country surprised the world by taking a step backwards in marijuana legislation where many other countries were moving forward. The weed pass legislation prevents those without a Dutch passport to purchase marijuana from coffeeshops in most of the Southern cities. This immediately caused a steep rise in the amount of street dealers, making for a grim atmosphere in the affected cities, where the citizens experienced much more nuisance than ever before.
This is not a full update on the weed pass, since it is apparently a slow process and news has been scarce; though quite some interesting things have happened since we’ve last reported on the topic.
[typography font=”Droid Serif” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#ff830f”]How legalization makes crime disappear[/typography]
Nijmegen – a city previously affected by the weed pass legislation – decided to revert back to the old policy. Non-Dutch citizens were once again allowed into Nijmegen’s coffeeshops. Within merely two to three hours after the fact, street dealers vanished from the city streets. Taking away their entire source of income, there was no reason for them to hang around.
Some of the street dealers were minors, others were drugsrunners from abroad. Both quickly set up entire networks dedicated to dealing marijuana. This situation caused local government to lose control over the sale of marijuana, and minors were one of the affected groups; where coffeeshops used an age restriction of 18, dealers were happy to sell to everyone. Additionally, street dealers often sell a wider variation of drugs, making marijuana once again a gateway drug. This is not at all the case with controlled sales through coffeeshops.
[typography font=”Droid Serif” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#ff830f”]Elsewhere in the lands[/typography]
Local governments feel that they are in a position to adapt the policy to their own cities, yet the specifics remain unclear. In the city of Eindhoven, allowing foreigners into coffeeshops remains a taboo; it’s surely not happening at this point.
In the city of Rotterdam, an attempted ban on smoking marijuana in public has failed; the public prosecutor won’t rest, and will appeal against this decision.
In a test case filed by a coffeeshops in Tilburg, the court ruled that municipalities should be allowed to force coffeeshops to ban non-Dutch citizens and those who aren’t a registered member of the coffeeshop.
Amsterdam’s mayor has stated that tourists and other visitors will be able to purchase marijuana in the city’s coffeeshops for now, and they intend to keep it that way.