To answer a few of your questions!
PEACE AND POT!
– Andy / andrewpyrah
Recent press reports have suggested that a ‘weed pass’ is about to be
introduced in Amsterdam that would prohibit tourists from visiting coffeeshops. This
news release is intended to provide the full information on this situation and to
rectify these erroneous reports.
NO WEED PASS IN AMSTERDAM
The concept of a ‘weed pass’ that would restrict tourists from visiting coffeehsops
in the Netherlands has been on the table for some time. Reports that such a pass
will be applied in Amsterdam are, however, completely without foundation. The Mayor
and Council of Amsterdam are radically opposed to such a scheme and it will not be
implemented in the city. For over thirty years coffeeshops in Amsterdam have
provided a safe and controlled environment for consumption of soft drugs. This will
remain so in the future. The wide choice of coffeeshops available to tourists means
that they will have no need buy their cannabis on the street. Thus the coffeeshops
are fulfilling exactly the function for which they were established.
Put forward by the Dutch Justice Minister, Ivo Opstelten, the ‘weed pass’ is still
at proposal stage and will not even be discussed by the Dutch Parliament until 2012.
What is more the Supreme Court equivalent in the Netherlands, the Council of State,
has ruled that discrimination against tourists is outside of the law unless those
tourists are responsible for more public disorder than residents. Within its ruling
the Council of State made an exception under which, in cases of severe public
disturbance, mayors may discriminate against nonresidents provided they can be
proved to be responsible. Since coffeeshops are notorious for their peaceful and
non-violent ambiance — no coffeeshop has ever been charged under a public order act
— such an exception is somewhat academic.
The ‘weed pass’ proposal was originally formulated in response to cross-border
criminal buyers of large quantities of cannabis and large numbers of tourist buyers
in the most southerly Limburg province of the Netherlands, notably in the town of
Maastricht. The proposal was intended for implementation in Maastricht and other
towns in Limburg and never for implementation nationally.
Cannabis Retailers Association,
Amsterdam, July 15 – 2011