Dutch council rejects 'marijuana pass'

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The city council of Eindhoven in the south of the Netherlands has rejected the idea of a pass system for buyers of marijuana. Local politicians in nearby Den Bosch and Maastricht have already come out against introducing ‘weed-passes’, the aim of which would be to bar the sale of cannabis to other than Dutch residents.

In the Netherlands, outlets called ‘coffeeshops’ can be licensed to sell small amounts of marijuana. In recent years, ‘drugs tourists’ from across the border in Belgium and Germany have caused increasing trouble in southern Dutch towns where they come to buy pot.

Crime wave
More recently still, towns including Eindhoven have been hit by a wave of violent crime connected to the supply of cannabis to the outlets. While the sale of marijuana is permitted, the supply of the soft drugs to licensed coffeeshops remains illegal and is controlled by criminal networks.

Under the pass system being proposed by the government, coffeeshops would become clubs with membership only open to local people. Eindhoven Mayor Rob van Gijzel is not convinced, arguing the government should get tough with the criminals involved in the supply of cannabis, and not penalise the customers.

(mw/rk)

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