Dutch Coffeeshop Pass System Approved By European Court

16 12 2010

Coffeeshops will be effectively restricted from selling cannabis to non-residents, and Amsterdam is no exception. The controversial ‘weed pass’ system planned by the new Dutch government is not in conflict with the European treaty on free movement of goods, nor the current anti-discriminatory legislation, it was announced yesterday.

Man smoking a joint in an Amsterdam coffeeshop

Will tourists still be allowed to share cannabis bought by a resident?

The coalition government, already troubled by internal conflict and scandal in their first few months, asked that the European Court examine the new measure for possible conflict with existing legislation. The European Court has allowed the plans in order to combat the ‘drug tourism’ problems that residents have been experiencing in border towns.

Amsterdam relies on tourists, many of whom openly state that they would not visit the city if they were banned from coffeeshops, for a great deal of revenue. The Mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan doubts that the pass system will improve anything, stating that street dealing and the problems associated with it will only increase. Despite this the government will not make an exception for the city that has been a Mecca for marijuana lovers for over three decades and a symbol of free thought and acceptance for hundreds of years.

The pass system will be implemented as soon as possible in the province of Brabant (in the south of the Netherlands, bordering Belgium) although details have not yet been released on who will approve, issue and control the passes, nor how they should be applied for. Other issues, such as whether tourists will be allowed into coffeeshops simply to drink coffee and if there will be restrictions on residents sharing legally purchased cannabis with non-residents, have yet to be explored.





Germany: Merry Xmas Tree Seized by Police

10 12 2010

Christmas in Germany seems to turn into a cannabis feast looking at the recent busts made by the police.Xmas decoration on a weed plant

On Tuesday, German authorities said that a 21-year-old man in the southern city of Munich had been detained with a homemade Advent calendar with cannabis behind each little door instead of chocolate.

On Wednesday, in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, officers entered the home of the ‘old 68er’ – a reference to a group of young students and workers who took part in radical protested across Germany in 1968 –  and he ‘more or less willingly’ handed over 150g, or 5.3 ounces, of marijuana.

But after the police snooped around the property in Montabaur, near Koblenz, further, they found the tall pot plant.

“A hippie celebrates Christmas too, just differently,” read the release. “The two-meter-tall marijuana plant had been put in a Christmas tree stand and decorated with a string of lights.”

“When asked, the hashish fan told the perplexed officers that he had intended to add more decorations to the ‘tree’ and place the presents under it, according to tradition.”

Police seized the plant and the 150 grams (5.3 ounces) of marijuana found in the apartment.

Cannabis was illegal throughout Germany until the federal constitutional court decided on 28 April 1994 that people need no longer be prosecuted for possession of soft drugs for personal use.

Sources: AFP , The Local

 








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