[THS] Dutch Delay Plan to Curb Cannabis Sales to Tourists
psalience at fastmail.fm
Tue Jan 12 00:09:55 CET 2010
Pubdate: Tue, 5 Jan 2010
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Agence France-Presse
DUTCH DELAY PLAN TO CURB CANNABIS SALES TO TOURISTS
A plan to transform cannabis-vending coffee shops near the Belgian
border into private clubs from Jan. 1 has been postponed indefinitely
for further study, a Dutch official said yesterday.
"We need to finalize our preparations before we can put the project
into operation," Petro Hermans, a project officer for the southeastern
city of Maastricht, told AFP.
"We are studying the legal feasibility of the project," he said,
adding the date of Jan. 1 "was not practicable."
The mayors of Maastricht and seven other municipalities in the
southern Limburg province announced last May that about 30 coffee
shops within their borders would become private members' clubs from
The daily limit would be reduced from five to three grams of cannabis
per client, while patrons would require membership cards and a Dutch
debit card to pay with -- effectively cutting off tourists.
The Limburg move is backed by the national government, and is one of
several pilot projects whose results will be incorporated in a new
policy that will aim to reduce the "nuisance" caused by drug tourism.
About four million foreigners, mainly Belgian, French and German,
visit Limburg every year to purchase cannabis. The Dutch government
decriminalized the consumption and possession of under five grams of
cannabis in 1976.
There are some 700 licensed coffee shops throughout the country, but
cannabis cultivation remains illegal.
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