While Amsterdam coffeeshop owners hope to be able to work out a political compromise to remain open for non-Dutch, it looks like the rest of The Netherlands will quickly move to embrace these court-ordered changes to their business model.
Let’s hope that this past High Times Cannabis Cup Awards will not be the last!
From the Huffington Post —
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Long famous for “coffee shops” where joints and cappuchinos share the menu, the Netherlands’ famed tolerance for drugs could be going up in smoke.
A judge on Friday upheld a government plan to ban non-Dutch residents from buying marijuana by introducing a “weed pass” available only to residents.
The new regulation reins in one of the country’s most cherished symbols of tolerance – its laissez-faire attitude to soft drugs – and reflects the drift away from a long-held view of the Netherlands as a free-wheeling utopia.
For many tourists visiting Amsterdam the image endures – and smoking a joint in a canalside coffee shop ranks high on their to-do lists along with visiting cultural highlights like the Van Gogh Museum.
The city’s left-leaning Mayor Eberhard van der Laan is hoping to hammer out a compromise with the national government.
Coffee shops also have not given up the fight. A week ago they mustered a few hundred patrons for a “smoke-in” in downtown Amsterdam to protest the new restrictions.
A lawyer for owners, Maurice Veldman, said he would file an appeal against the ruling by a judge at The Hague District court, which clears the way for the weed pass to be introduced in southern provinces on May 1.
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