Dutch ‘weed pass’ law driving Cannabis trade underground
by Justin Stares
Maastricht – formerly a mecca for drug tourists from across western Europe – has called for police reinforcements to handle “aggressive” street pushers, who have taken over almost all trade in marijuana and cannabis since authorities introduced tighter controls on legal outlets. The Dutch town’s Mayor Onno Hoes wants to double the number of dedicated police officers in order to control the black market, which has benefited from the region’s draconian “weed pass” law.
Hoes also wants one of the key elements of the weed pass system dropped – the requirement that all soft drug consumers become registered members of ‘coffee shop clubs’ – after finding that the vast majority of consumers refused to apply. Separate rules requiring joint smokers to prove they are local residents are set to stay, however. The weed pass came into effect in Maastricht, a border town close to both Belgium and Germany, on May 1. It killed off an international trade that had thrived for decades.