News of: Saturday, September 15 2012,
The introduction of the so-called 'Weed Pass' may be reconsidered in the case of Amsterdam.
The Weed Pass refers to the new system for coffeeshops (where soft drugs are sold). Under the new law, only inhabitants of the Netherlands can buy soft drugs, by getting a registration.
This means tourists can no longer buy soft drugs in the Dutch coffeeshops, as visitors can not get a registration. It is generally feared that drugs trading will again move to the streets, causing more crime. In addition, tourism to Amsterdam may suffer, as 25% of the visitors indicate they come to Amsterdam because of the coffeeshops.
In the Dutch press, there are now consistent rumours and reports, about politicians talking to change the law. For example, the mayor of Maastricht has said that Amsterdam should remain able to have coffeeshops for tourists.
The new law already applies in the 3 southern provinces (so also in Maastricht). Results so far are negative. There are more drugs-runners, more street trading and more reports of crime.
The latest is that the mayor of Amsterdam says he had a 'constructive' meeting with the Minister of the Interior (responsible for the Weed Pass law). What this means is not certain, nobody will say anything.
But it is clear that things are on the move.
If Amsterdam gets an exception, this may mean a large growth in tourism, rather than a blow.
The Weed Pass is scheduled to get national introduction on January 1, 2013.