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Dutch roll out 'cannabis card' to stop pot tourists

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Awww! I'm not a pot smoker, but surely that's a bit extreme. How about instead of limiting the pot-smoking to residents you limit the places? I don't know, but there's got to be a middle ground. If anything, the government should be thinking about this law in terms of dollars; if "pot-tourism" is such a big thing, how much money would be lost by this law?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

If this is enforced, then hotels, restaurants, bars, & coffee shops are gonna lose a lot of revenue.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Wow, what a great plan to force it underground and for illegal dealers to prosper selling to tourists.

Way to go Holland, two steps backwards!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Many pot shops and pot cages will be faced with two choices. Ignore the law or close down since many of them reply on more than 90% of tourists for their trade, especially the places outside of Amsterdam or on the border with Germany.

In the end, it will only mean a return to the days of illegal trade and secret cafes. Better to keep it legal and out front.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The Netherlands is finally waking up to the realization that pot is a gateway drug and is beginning to take steps to stamp out this poison. Bravo.

RR

-20 ( +0 / -19 )

There's another point to consider too. Anyone born and living in any EU country has the right to travel to any other EU country, not has a tourist but has a resident of the EU.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

RomeoR,

Cannabis is not a poison.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Zichi,

" Anyone born and living in any EU country has the right to travel to any other EU country, not has a tourist but has a resident of the EU."

I'm not sure that you're 100% right on that one. We're still not European citizens with European passports unfortunately, but are forced to have a European country of residence, certainly for tax purposes. This is half the problem with the EU, it's bogged down with so many different laws country to country nothing ever gets done. It's pretty ridiculous you need to hold citizenship to vote for example in your host countries elections even when you reside there and pay taxes there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yep, breeding a whole new generation of dealers and criminal users.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Madverts,

Many good points. But I'm free to travel to Holland and declare that I now live there. The EU passport would be a good one especially by the cost of a British one. I need to renew my passport which can no longer be done in Japan and must be made to London via Hong Kong and will cost me about ¥20,000.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Tell me about it - 250€ from the embassy here. Only 80€ for the French one!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Coffee shop owners say the ban on foreigners will cut into profits.

Here's a radical marketing idea: How about selling only coffee in your coffee shops?

Problem solved.

RR

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Well, they can say goodbye to a large majority of their tourism industry... Oh wait! They still have their red light district...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

the Netherlands on Tuesday starts restricting cannabis sales

And what about the Netherlands on Wednesday? What will the country be doing on that day?

despite opposition from pro-pot lobby groups

which consisted of them thinking about getting up off the couch but not quite making it to 45 degrees before lying back down again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

RomeoR: "Here's a radical marketing idea: How about selling only coffee in your coffee shops?"

Show me a single coffee shop, anywhere world-wide, that does that and I'll turn around and buy you one of their Biscotti.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

RomeoR

Here's a radical marketing idea: How about selling only coffee in your coffee shops? Problem solved.

The cannabis cafes exist for the purpose for those who want to buy and consume cannabis, maybe coffee too but the good point is, the trade and the consumption is kept to those places so the traditional Dutch Brown Cafes stay the way they have always been and mostly frequented only by Dutch people. They serve great coffee too.

Your comment makes it sound like cannabis is consumed in all cafes, which its not.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Before the introduction of the cannabis cafes, many more people smoked in on the streets and in the parks. The cafes offer some control over the situation and you can spend two weeks in Amsterdam without seeing any drugs or sex girls for that matter and just enjoy the bars, cafes and fine restaurants and tourists spots.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Might have to look over my shoulder next trip (even so, still believe it'll never cause a crick/kink in the neck like constant DD forces on one here in Japan), but I will gladly visit Holland even if I'm labeld a "tourist"--sure beats the "gaijin" label no matter how long I've lived or how much tax I've paid here. Something tells me the Dutch won't lock me up and throw away the key for carrying a couple grams.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

/facepalm netherlands, because prohibition has shown to work so well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The tougher rules, set to take effect nationwide from next year

Kudos to the Netherlands for attempting to rid itself of this poison.

RR

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

Something tells me the Dutch won't lock me up and throw away the key for carrying a couple grams.

But, if you live there in Japan and get arrested overseas, you won't be able to return.

RR

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Marijuana is not a poison but just look at the stoners and what effects it has on these dudes that have been frying up their brains for years, some real hard core basket cases, but then again we can make a similar case for those who abuse alcohol, etc..but if the Netherlands can control weed and it's use and not have all the VIOLENCE like we have in the USA, Mexico etc..good on the Dutch, maybe we can even learn something from them??

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Elbuda,

I think the Netherlands doesn't have the violence of the States and Mexico because they keep, until now, weed above ground and open. As soon as it is illegal, gangs will swoop in to serve the million tourists who will buy it. Then gangs will fight gangs for control of the trade. Good on the Netherlands for thinking this through.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Anyone who has a residency card now has a new business opportunity, WHAT A DUMB LAW! sometimes those in charge are not the smartest are they? Just created a whole new industry.

Anybody want to rent a dutch national or their card??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Darn, there goes my vacation plan!!! ;)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

RomeoR, you mustn't be very familiar with George Washington. He strongly supported the smoking of hemp. It didn't become illegal until the relatively near past. And the War on Drugs has been worse than an utter failure.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wouldnt be surprised if the eventual 'solution' takes a form familiar to many - locals will pay one price and the furriner pays another.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh, I've lost interest to visit the Netherlands now .. :P

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've never been to the Netherlands, but all the folks who I've met from there seemed intelligent and thoughtful. They know exactly what marijuana is and that it is only a gateway drug for adolescents.

Pot is less dangerous than alcohol.

If it weren't for pressure from the USA, I doubt most of these countries would have laws completely outlawing pot. Every civilization allows for at least 1 mind relaxation drug, like alcohol or pot in their cultures for the last 5,000 years. Humans seem to want this for some reason. I don't know why. Many people are willing to travel great distances to achieve their goal.

I've smoked more than a few joints, but nothing in the last 20+ yrs due to my job requirements. The FBI knows it. I would like to be able to smoke again, legally. As an adult, I would use it just like alcohol - perhaps once every other week for a few hours at a time with friends watching a movie and eating chips. ;) Or perhaps when on a mountain lookout for a day hike. I'd hoped to visit places where smoking wasn't illegal ... I like to say "I've not broken any drug laws in any country" when asked, but that seems less and less likely. It isn't a central part of any trip - sorta like having Absinthe when visiting Prague is an activity for tourists. Absinthe - meh, but it is off my todo list.

The more I see the USA pushing their foolish anti-drug agenda, the dumber I think my "collective country" is.

I would run for office, but I'm unelectable ... I wasn't stupid and knew how to inhale and do not beleive in a god or gods. Actually, I like to believe I'm too smart to want those suck-up political jobs.

The Netherlands still has great places to visit and I'll definitely get there in my world travels. If this law remains, hopefully a friendly Dutch person will share - I'll bring the chips, man.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@RR You must be one of the most misinformed individuals! All of this is about control! Period! Hemp has long been used for many things besides making rope. The science community as well as medical have performed many tests to discover cannabis's effects, chemical makeup etc. I could go on for weeks about this subject and the reasons that it is classified as a class 1 drug along with heroin! Because they don't see medical use? Bullshit! Doctors are the biggest pushers on the planet of the real poisons! It's only all about control and MONEY!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow, what a great plan to force it underground and for illegal dealers to prosper selling to tourists.

All dealers already WERE illegal before this law came into being. The drug is illegal but The Netherlands decided not to prosecute quantities of 5 grams or less. In order to run their business, dealers have to have more than 5 grams in their possession. The reason so many "coffee shops" would be affected is because the only reason those "coffee shops" opened in the first place was due to the drug trade. Think about it: Why would a municipality of 121,000 need 15 coffee shops? Because of all the TOURISTS, naturally, and all those tourists are going to Maastrikt because of the coffee? Please.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The next general election in Holland could be interesting. There could even be a pro-pot party by then and another pot party if they win.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh, I've lost interest to visit the Netherlands now

That might be the goal of the Netherlands. Perhaps they're tired of having to deal with pseudo-hippie types and trust fund babies coming from other countries. They should make this poison illegal; but at least what they're doing is a start in the correct direction. Bravo!!

RR

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I wonder if this trend will move towards prostitution tourism too?

Out of the two, I know which tourists I prefer. And it isn't the drunken and loud British yobs staggering around the red-light district in football shirts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"stub out the sale of cannabis"

Who said you have to smoke it? Brownies, anyone?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"We prefer to smoke a joint"

Hee hee!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hate conservatives that think they know what's what and what is good for me and everyone else. If you throw your hand in front of my face you will draw back a stump.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

... and I hate people that think that whats "good" for them is good for everyone else.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think the main reason they want to do this is because of the "pot culture" that the people from outside the country are bringing with them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Netherlands seemed to forget how most of the western world has tried unsuccessfully for DECADES to try to put an end to illegal drugs. On how they have collectively spent billions to go to "war" against drugs. Can anyone show me what progress has been made with all that money? Other than a few percentage point swings back and forth, the overall drug usage has neither increased nor decreased dramatically because of any grand plan or strategy. The Governments fill up their jails with convicted dealers, yet you can go to the same places that had police raids the night before and get whatever drugs you want. You can kill or capture all the drug cartels operating right now, and it will barely make a dent in the overall volume of drugs available. The Netherlands seemed to be the one nation that had gotten it right with a drug policy based in reality, not neo-con pipe dreams. Now they are just like all the other nations that bury their collective heads in the sand and say its a criminal issue, not a medical issue. Alcohol is a drug, and alcoholism is a disease, yet you do not hear the same words being used for illegal drugs. I guess the illegal part means they do not get the same consideration as those addicted to legal ones.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And why remove one of the main tourist attractions for a nation that has little else to offer a tourist. Windmills, tulips, and wooden shoes are not things that most people on holiday are going to go out of their way to see. "Coffee houses" and the red light district were unique things that put Amsterdam on people's "bucket list" of travel destinations.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I am smoking a dube as I read this

1 ( +1 / -0 )

sorry the correct spelling is doob. like doobie. I guess with all of these juicy buds I have smoked today I just forgot.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm sure the drunk tourists will be much better behaved than the stoned ones were.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Whoah people! Open your eyes! The Dutch are not doing this because they want to. The Dutch are doing this because they are being pressured by other governments and a certain U.N. commission in particular, I think its the Narcotics Commission.

The Dutch remain the leaders in decriminalizing pot, but they are up against some very determined idiots. Don't blame them. Blame your own governments.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

... and I hate people that think that whats "good" for them is good for everyone else.

Do NOT put words in my mouth.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Open your eyes!

Okay. I opened my eyes and in the article, I found this:

Many local residents however have welcomed the change, saying they have had enough of traffic jams, nocturnal disturbances and drug pushers catering to the millions of foreign visitors drawn by the relaxed cannabis laws.

Blame your own governments.

Nah, I think some people are sick of the negative influence on their neighborhoods. This has nothing to do with other governments. If it did, they'd ban it outright.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Moving the coffee shops to easily policed areas where the flow of traffic could be controlled so as to prevent the nuisance to the local citizens was considered but turned out to be undoable. Hence the weed pass for Dutch nationals only.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This has nothing to do with other governments. If it did, they'd ban it outright.

So you think that every time a government caves to external pressure, it does so 100 percent, every time?

Nah, I think some people are sick of the negative influence on their neighborhoods.

No doubt some people are. Just as many are. And also a few and a bunch, and maybe even a very vocal group. But those are not clear numbers in the slightest. In a democracy, we use words like majority to determine what the people want, not cop out words like many and some. Some people anywhere would happily have fascism and the death penalty for every crime. So what? It hardly means they have a case.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So you think that every time a government caves to external pressure, it does so 100 percent, every time?

I am saying, I don't think there was any pressure and I don't think there was any caving.

But those are not clear numbers in the slightest. In a democracy, we use words like majority to determine what the people want, not cop out words like many and some.

Pardon me, but you are rambling. The article suggests a clear reason for the decision. You just have chosen to ignore it in favor of your own ideas. Go for it. However, I have chosen to disagree with your imaginings and go with the article. I feel it is more reliable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am saying, I don't think there was any pressure and I don't think there was any caving.

I heard you the first time. But the only reason you gave was a poor one, and it seems you are sticking with it.

My reasoning is based on 30 years of history

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_the_Netherlands

The Dutch policy of keeping anti-drug laws on the books while limiting enforcement of certain offenses is carefully designed to reduce harm while still complying with the letter of international drug control treaties. This is necessary in order to avoid criticism from the International Narcotics Board, which historically has taken a dim view of any moves to relax official drug policy.

The article suggests a clear reason for the decision.

The word "many" is not clear at all. The article is leading you, whether accidentally or on purpose, and you follow like the good sheep you are.

Try to understand that my inititial post was in response to people lashing out at Holland. And while directly the Dutch have made this move, indirectly the reason is because of foreign pressure has created the need and the problems the Dutch are now dealling with.

Holland is just one small country in the middle of a stupid world-wide drug war. Holland would is doing better than those around them with regards to drug problems, but would be doing much better if not for her stupid neighbors and the U.S.A.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

But the only reason you gave was a poor one

I did not give it, the article did. I just think it is a reasonable reason.

indirectly the reason is because of foreign pressure has created the need and the problems the Dutch are now dealling with.

So, you say. However, I am not convinced that this suddenly became such a problem that they changed, as you point out, 30 years of history. It seems more likely that the situation internally changed, ie: people from other countries causing problems for the country's citizens. They are not changing the rules for their own people. They are just preventing others from coming in and bringing trouble with them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Gaijintoday, I didn't put anything into your mouth. It was my own comment that followed after your comment. On one side I see the people that think pot (and other times many other drugs) should be legalised most likely because they want to satisfy their own wants and desires and not completely grasping the after affects and consequences of such a situation.

On the other hand I see the people (including me) that are going to be affected by inconsiderate people that don't care how its going to affect those around them that aren't interested in such things. We've already got more than enough problems with tobacco smokers 2nd hand smoke hitting folks downwind also I've seen more than enough in pot usage my own state (legalised MJ for medical use but of course we have the folks that wanna do it for "entertainment" hijacking that) even before it was allowed medically.

In the long run I wouldn't mind MJ being completely legalised for anyone who wants to use it as long as it does not affect people around them from the "exhaust". So far many people don't even have the common sense to discipline themselves about when and where they do it. Its not too cool to see someone's child getting glazed over eyes because their parents or people nearby are getting their high on and non-smokers are getting less oxygen, same with someones asthma or other respiratory problems getting triggered because of such choices. Peoples choices to use drugs should not be able to affect those around them especially when it deals with the necessity of breathing air to live.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Its not too cool to see someone's child getting glazed over eyes because their parents or people nearby are getting their high on and non-smokers are getting less oxygen,

Hyper-sensitive. When I was kid, my grandparents smoked like chimneys and in winter time, when we finally got out of the car, one might think my sis and I were riding with Cheech and Chong. We are both still healthy, but if that changes, I would sooner blame factory smokestacks.

We both also got contact buzzes from our mother and step-father from elementary school and junior high on up. Both straight A students.

most likely because they want to satisfy their own wants and desires

That is me for sure but not like you think. I don't like smoking MJ directly. I prefer to have some cocktails. But being around high people is a lot more fun than drunk ones, especially some of the drunks tend to get violent. MJ users, if they drive, also tend to drive slower.

In the long run I wouldn't mind MJ being completely legalised for anyone who wants to use it as long as it does not affect people around them from the "exhaust".

Thus the cafes. I would think everyone would be happy with the situation in Holland and seek to have these cafes in all countries. Everyone except the groups at the two ends of the drug war. Its not only the dealers making money off of it you know. Politicians, police, government contractors and yes, even those people on the U.N. Narcotics Commission make money off the drug war, and so many would lose their jobs if this neo-prohibition, stupid as the last one, ever ended.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

America has spent more than $400 billion on its drug war and where has it got it, nowhere!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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