The pilot project to have state-run hash and marijuana dispensaries in Copenhagen received a setback after the Justice Ministry turned down the City Council's request to experiment with regulating cannabis in the city. In a letter to the Council, the social-democrat Minister of Justice, Morten Bødskov, wrote that the government will not permit the experiment as they believe that regulating hash and marijuana would likely increase both availability and use, which was unwise given the range of side effects that cannabis has been linked to.
State-run hash and marijuana dispensaries won't be popping up in Copenhagen any time soon after the Justice Ministry this weekend turned down Copenhagen City Council's request to experiment with legalising cannabis in the city. In a letter to the council, the justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), wrote that the government could not permit the experiment as they believed that legalising hash and marijuana would likely increase both availability and use, which was unwise given the range of side effects that cannabis has been linked to.
The introduction of the 'weed pass' in the south of the Netherlands is leading to growing problems. Since 1 May, only Dutch residents are able to purchase soft drugs in coffeeshops. Foreigners are barred. In protest against the move, many coffeeshops in Maastricht and other southern Dutch cities have closed their doors. Foreign drug tourists and Dutch residents who don’t have a pass are heading further north. In cities in the weed pass area, like the eastern border town of Venlo, growing numbers of illegal drugs dealers are hanging out near coffeeshops. They’re harrassing not only drugs tourists but also local residents.
A week after a contentious rollout of a new Dutch law to stub out cannabis sales to foreigners, enforcement is in disarray as some police are untrained and several coffee shops have closed in protest. Drug tourists are simply dodging the "cannabis card" law by heading elsewhere in the country for their fix, since the rule has entered into force in just three southern Dutch provinces so far. "It takes time for everything to be put into place," Justice and Safety Ministry spokeswoman Charlotte Menten admitted.
For visitors to the Netherlands who enjoy the relaxing effects of marijuana, life has just become a little less easy going, particularly for those Germans living just west of the border who used to just pop over for a fresh supply. New legislation is restricting the sale of cannabis to residents of the country and banning tourists from purchasing the drug at the coffee shops, famous for selling it.
There are mounting protests in the south of the Netherlands against the introduction of the 'weed pass'. As of 1 May, coffeeshops in southern Dutch cities are only allowed to sell marijuana and hashish to Dutch residents with a special card. Foreign tourists are prohibited from purchasing weed. Coffeeshop owners in Maastricht and other southern Dutch cities are up in arms about the new regulation. In Maastricht, 12 of the 13 coffeeshops closed their doors in protest.