Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Netherlands will ban the sale of cannabis to foreigners

The Dutch government said Friday it will start to ban the sale of cannabis to tourists. In addition, authorities also restrict the use of marijuana and hashish to the citizens of the Netherlands. The country has so far maintained a very tolerant policy on cannabis, which is sold widely in the so-called 'coffee shops', which come every year tens of thousands of tourists from around the world.

However, the current government, supported by Geert Wilders, the far right wants to end this kind of tourism. In the words of the ministers of Health and Justice, the goal is "ending the criminality associated with coffee shops and drug trafficking." With the new law, only Dutch citizens can buy marijuana and hashish.

In addition, each consumer will have to join a particular facility for a year, and every 'coffee shop' may only have 1,500 members. The initiative will be effective before the end of the year in the provinces of Limburg, Noord Brabant and Zeeland, and in 2012 for the rest of the country.

Amsterdam, where there are about 220 shops selling cannabis, and is closing some coffee shops in the city's red light district. Some border towns like Maastricht and Terneuzen, have already banned the sale of marijuana and hashish to foreigners.

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