NEW RULES NO DRUGS
Dutch coffee shops attract many visitors from abroad each year. However, from 1 May 2012 new rules will apply to the sale of soft drugs, so that tourists will no longer be able to buy soft drugs in the Netherlands.
The ‘opendoor’ policy currently pursued by coffee shops will come to an end; they will become private clubs. Customers who live in the Netherlands and are registered with a Dutch municipality will only be able to buy soft drugs from a coffee shop if they are registered members. Membership is restricted to 2,000 members per coffeeshop (as of 1 January 2013). Tourists will not be able to join. Soon they will no longer be able to buy soft drugs in a Dutch coffeeshop.
The Netherlands is introducing new rules for the sale of soft drugs. What does this mean?
Why are the rules changing?
The objective of this new policy is to combat the nuisance and crime associated with drugs. The new rules will make Dutch coffee shops smaller and easier to control. Coffee shops will become private clubs focusing on the local market.
When are the rules changing?
The new rules for the sale of cannabis products such as hash and weed will apply from 1 May 2012 for all coffeeshops in the provinces of Zeeland, North Brabant and Limburg. They will apply everywhere in the Netherlands from 1 January 2013.
Strict controls on illicit trade in drugs
Combating nuisance and crime associated with drugs is a top priority for the participating municipalities in the southern Netherlands. For example, checks will be held along roads leading into these areas, and in the immediate vicinity of coffeeshops.
The authorities will also be monitoring whether nuisance and drug dealing moves to other neighbourhoods.There will be tighter controls on the illicit sale of drugs. And the police will be keeping a close watch on drug runners and dealers, many of whom are already known to them. Police forces abroad will also be involved in these checks.
Cannabis: not so harmless
The use of cannabis is not as harmless as people think. There are risks associated with the use of soft drugs. Cannabis use can result in mental and physical health problems, and addiction. You can visit the following sites for more information on drug use and health risks or to get help.