Cannabis lobby throws a protest party

RNW archive

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Cannabis Liberation Day attracted 2000 visitors on Sunday in Amsterdam’s Westerpark. One of the main issues at this year's event was the "weed pass", which has been introduced in the southern part of the Netherlands. Since 1 May, only Dutch residents are able to purchase soft drugs in coffeeshops. Foreigners are barred. The rest of the country will follow on 1 January.

The government argues that the measure is needed to prevent drug tourism. Coffeeshops in the south of the country say they've seen a big drop in turnover, and many shops have had to close their doors. Coffeeshop owners in the rest of the country fear the same thing will happen to them early next year.

Derrick Bergman, spokesman for the League for the Legalisation of Cannabis, hopes that after the general elections in September, the new government will rescind the measure. He argues that "people don't want to register to get a weed pass. And they're right. You don't need to register to go to a café either."

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