The Dutch government has apparently decided it wants to ban tourists from buying cannabis in the ‘coffee shops’ where hash is legally on sale.
It is a part of a national crackdown on drug use, despite the Netherlands having one of Europe’s most liberal soft drug policies and its coffee shops being a popular tourist attraction, especially in Amsterdam and border cities near Belgium and Germany.
However, some cities, particularly in some border areas, have already clamped down on drug tourism. What may now follow is a wider crackdown with a ban being introduced, possibly next September.
The new Dutch government, which took office last month, has agreed to limit the sale of cannabis to Dutch residents to curb crime linked to its production and trading. They want to return to the situation as it was first intended, namely for local use by those want it.
Under the government’s plans for a tourist ban, only permit holders, i.e residents, would be allowed to buy hash.
The possession of up to 5 grams of cannabis or hash is allowed in the Netherlands but large-scale production and transport is a crime.
One anomaly of the Dutch system is that production, trading and transporting hash is illegal, so the coffee shop owners, who are required to buy their drugs on the black market, can be, and sometimes are, nicked for carrying the drugs to the legal place of sale. Most curious.