New Dutch government scraps “weed pass”

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

The controversial “weed pass” was introduced in the south of the Netherlands last May. Designed to stop "drug tourists" from Germany, Belgium and France crossing the Dutch border to buy cannabis, the new regulations meant coffee shops in the region became closed clubs only admitting Dutch residents who had to register for a special pass.

It was due to take effect in the rest of the Netherlands at the beginning of 2013 but the introduction of the pass saw an immediate increase in illegal street dealing and other problems in the southern province and the mayors of many Dutch cities and towns had been urging the government to reconsider. The new policy means people will not have to register to buy cannabis. Officially customers will still have to show ID to prove they are Dutch citizens, but the authorities in large cities such as Amsterdam are not expected to enforce this rule.
 

[media:video]