Dutch Govt Plan To Let Only Locals In Marijuana Shops May Backfire
Amsterdam, Netherlands (AHN) - A new plan by the Dutch government to issue special passes only for locals to enter neighborhood shops that allow smoking of marijuana is drawing criticism as encouraging more crime by visiting foreign marijuana users.
Tilburg University researcher Nicole Maalsté sees no positive effect on the government's plan of issuing nationwide special passes to a select few, preferably Dutch locals, to enter coffee shops where marijuana is legally consumed.
The Netherlands has been experiencing drug and marijuana related crimes by tourists who patronize these coffee shops, as coffee shop owners now get most of their marijuana supply from organized crime sources.
Dutch police have conducted a series of raids on Dutch residents who privately grow their own marijuana. This kind is considered by many to be organically "safe" and free of additives.
Maalsté also criticized the measure as promoting the spread of large-scale and "unsafe" marijuana to be sold in the coffee shops, which are largely patronized by tourists who are reported to later commit drug related crimes and violence.
With the proposal to issue special passes, Maalsté expects tourists to instead buy their marijuana from the streets. She also expected few Dutch locals would come forward and be publicly registered as an official marijuana user.
Meanwhile, the European court of justice will rule on Dec. 16 whether it is legal under EU law to ban foreigners from entering Dutch marijuana shops.
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