The Netherlands’ new ‘Weed Pass’ rule went into affect yesterday much to the chagrin of Southern Dutch coffee shop owners and marijuana tokers. In a show of solidarity, all 14 weed cafes in the city of Maastricht shuttered their doors to protest the ruling that limits cannabis sales and maintains that only Dutch citizens with a ‘Weed Pass’ can purchase pot from the shops.
In a show of outrage (and really, disbelief), coffee shop owners, citizens, and tourists protested the rule, taking to Maastricht’s streets, lighting up spliffs, holding up signs, and generally just showing their disdain and fury over the government’s ruling. All told, somewhere around 80 Southern cafes (in proximity to Belgian and German borders) are now directly impacted by the law’s passing. But Southern Dutchmen and their foreign neighbors clearly have no plans of following the perplexing law nor do they plan on going quietly into the night.
And it would certainly appear that the ruling has already done more harm than good, as nearly 400 people have lost their jobs as a consequence of the ‘Weed Pass,’ according to Dutch News.
According to local broadcaster LI, many of the coffee shops have closed their doors because they have no customers and no-one has registered as a member. Nearly 390 people have also lost their jobs, L1 reported.
In Tilburg, the owner of coffee shop Toermalijn was also given a police warning for failing to meet the new rules. ‘One infringement is enough for us to take a test case to court,’ owner Willem Vugs told news agency Novum.
In Venlo, two of the city’s five coffee shops have closed down for good. One other, called Nobody’s Place, reports just six people have signed up for membership. Police in the Limburg town have been handing out flyers to German tourists alerting them to the new situation, L1 said.
Clearly, the Dutch governing forces don’t think that the world’s employment issues affect their country. Nor do they believe the now 400 (and counting) unemployed citizens will turn to illegal activities–such as smuggling weed to bordering foreigners that now can’t purchase weed on Dutch soil–in these trying times. Hell, since prostitution is still totally legal in the Red Light District, maybe these 400 citizens should migrate North where they can make some money legally spinning tricks. The logic is astounding.
Meanwhile, in another Southern city, Tilburg, Reuters reports that many shop owners openly defied the new “law” by selling pre-rolled joints out in the open to foreigners, many of whom are the same Belgians that can’t get a ‘Weed Pass.’ The logic here is simply clairvoyant.
As I noted last week, Dutch legislators have continually spat out a bunch of nonsense about reducing drug infidels and illicit tourism through the country’s Southern border. From the looks of it, and as predicted, they got what they asked for: an even bigger problem. If the Dutch thought foreigners buying weed on their soil was a giant pain in the ass, then wait till they see how this self-inflicted Pilonidal Cyst feels (trust me: painful).
The ‘Weed Pass’ rule is supposed to take affect nationally come 2013. That would make coffee shops in Amsterdam out of bounds for tourists. Based on the Southern reaction, the Netherlands may either want to rethink that plan–or severely beef up their police squad. Because you can expect nothing short of a full-fledged rebellion come January 1st. In the meantime, you can expect Southern discord to continue as the government’s ass-Cyst becomes more and more inflamed.