No Dutch pot to trot

This item appears on page 68 of the September 2011 issue.

In December ’10, the European Court of Justice upheld a 2005 law banning foreigners from entering “coffee shops” that sell cannabis (legally) in Maastricht, Netherlands.

In May, the Dutch government announced it planned to turn all 700 such shops in the country into private, members-only clubs, with membership limited to Dutch citizens. Patrons will be expected to show a membership card before purchasing marijuana or other drugs.

The new law will go into effect in the southern provinces of Limburg, Noord Brabant and Zeeland by the end of 2011 and in the rest of the provinces in 2012. Thus ends 30 years of soft-drug tourism in the Netherlands.