Judge approves Dutch ‘weed pass’ ban on drug tourism

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, April 27, 2012 10:53 EDT
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A coffee shop in Amsterdam. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.
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Amsterdam, famous for its coffee shops where marijuana and magic mushrooms are dispensed to just about anyone who can pay for it, is about to harsh the buzz of tourists everywhere.

A judge ruled this week that the nation’s “weed pass” law, which would restrict drug-buying to Dutch citizens only, can be implemented in some regions starting May 1.

Some lawmakers have pushed back against the ban, but it does not seem likely that a challenge will succeed before the law is implemented, The Associated Press noted Friday morning.

Amsterdam, however, has until next year before they will be required to issue “weed passes,” so officials are still hoping to iron out a compromise before it takes effect nation-wide.

Coffee shop owners who brought a legal challenge against the law argue that tourists hoping to buy marijuana will only be funneled into the criminal drug market, and many expect to see a decline in tourism dollars if the passes are mandated in Amsterdam.

Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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