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Dutch Smoke Houses Ban

  • June 3rd, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

coffee-shop-dutch.jpgDutch government leaders are going ahead with the proposal to ban tourists from special “coffee shops” – ending a decades-long marijhuana honeymoon.

The drive towards broad liberalisation in Dutch society produced the cafes where a joint could be had for a few Euros and smoked openly in homely comfort.

It brought with it some interest on the part of criminal elements, a reputation for the country that many Dutch people disliked, and hordes of tourists keen to indulge, in freedom.

Neo-nationalist political interests now in the Dutch parliament have dictated the issue: no more of this demeaning looseness, or they will be taking home their votes. (See EUAustralia Online, “Wilders, horse-trading …”, 5.9.10).

Since cannabis trading is actually still banned in the Netherlands, it is a short step to regulate the places where a tolerant ruling on personal possession of the substance – five grams – is practiced.

Dutch users will have to sign up as club members and each house will be limited in the size of its clientele, and therefore its business.

Tourists are not to be let in at all, and tourist authorities have taken a neo-liberal stand on the issue, complaining that the new abstemiousness will be very bad for business.


Global Post, Boston, “Netherlands to close cannabis cafes to tourists, impose restrictions on Dutch”, 28.5.11., (2.6.11)., Amsterdam, “Cannabis cafes set to become private clubs, no entry for tourists”, 28.5.11., (2.6.11).