On March 1st 2011, I shared a story here on the blog talking about discussions being brought to the table with the goal of changing the laws in the Netherlands that allowed foreign tourists to legally purchase cannabis at their famed coffee shops.
Today, the hammer comes down with force.
From CNN.com: Dutch city's coffee shops close doors to most cannabis tourists
So here we have it. Seven months to the day after I first brought your attention to this story, we have the final word in.
First, take a quick breather. The decision, as it stands, only effects the city of Maastricht, and the ban only effects foreign tourists. The coffee-shops have agreed upon a "neighbor" policy, in which the only tourists that will be allowed to purchase cannabis legally are those holding passports from the neighboring nations of Belgium and Germany.
Shockingly, this decision has apparently come not from the lawmakers, but the Society of United Coffeshops. The police and judges will have no jurisdiction to enforce these regulations - that labor is laid solely on the backs of the proprietors of the coffee shops. The choice to bar these shops from foreign tourists came after the city council decided that "something had to be done" about the 2.2 million tourists per year that were clogging the city's narrow streets. Apparently, in this atrocious global economy, such flagrant and wanton spending from foreign bank accounts is simply unacceptable.
The concern here is that the barred doors will result in a rise of the illegal street trade. Say what you will about the laws regarding prohibition in the Netherlands, but one can not deny that they have successfully removed the criminal aspect of the trade from their society. As I said in my original post on 03/01/11 regarding the possibility of these changes, only time will tell how these changes in regulations will effect the black market in these cities.
Anything to keep these kind of animals off the streets, right kids?
"Prohibition is so gay...Fucking 80s style"