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Dutch Activist: We Don't Need A Weedpass, We Need To Pass Weed

Posted on  November 05, 2012 by  News Admin

  NORML UK and other cannabis activists across Europe are welcoming the announcement that Dutch cities are set to ditch their proposed Wietpas ("WeedPass") scheme, which would have allowed only Dutch nationals to buy cannabis in the country's famous coffeeshops. At least 1.5 million of the city's seven million visitors a year go to a coffeeshop. The measure proposed by the previous Christian Democrat government would have forced the coffeeshops to become private members' clubs, limited to only 2,000 members each and open only to Dutch residents, thereby banning sales to foreigners. The scheme had already been introduced in some parts of southern Holland, where critics say it has already lead to increased street dealing. Dutch authorities in cities such as Haarlem and Amsterdam were vehemently opposed to the scheme. They claimed it would push the dealers onto the streets, and damage the local tourist industry. Millions of visitors flock every year to visit the famously liberal coffeeshops where the sale and consumption of small amounts of cannabis is permitted. Although the new cabinet is formally pressing ahead with the scheme, it now says enforcing the ban will be carried out together with local councils, and taking local policy into account. In reality, this means local authorities will seek to protect their tourist industry and refuse to implement the scheme. "Tourists can continue to use Amsterdam's 220 cannabis cafes, even if they are not resident in the Netherlands," said Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan. Coffeeshop entrepreneur and longtime cannabis campaigner, Nol...