Yo man, you got a weed pass?
It’d be a lot cooler if you did…
A judge in the Netherlands dealt a blow to marijuana tourists everywhere when he ruled that the Dutch government’s new “weed pass” regulation to keep foreigners from purchasing drugs in coffee shops is valid.
Amsterdam’s weed-friendly coffee shops have been one of the country’s major tourism draws for a generation. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan recognizes the significance of the coffee shops to his city’s economy. He opposes the new law and wants to strike a compromise with the government.
The pass has already been introduced in parts of the progressive European nation, and it's set to enter into force in the rest of the country next year. Marijuana-dealing coffee shops will then become private clubs with membership rolls open only to Dutch citizens.
The government claims that their reactionary move is justified as a legitimate way to crack town on undesirable “drug tourism.” Why any sort of tourism is inherently bad for the Netherlands isn’t clear.
Mayor van der Laan asserts that the supposed problems attributed to drug tourism are non-existent in Amsterdam. He describes smoking a joint in a Leidseplein coffee shop as an essential part of the Amsterdam experience, right alongside the Heineken brewery and the Van Gogh Museum.
The government had no immediate response to the court’s ruling, though they are expected to begin enforcing the new weed pass policy throughout the Netherlands by the end of 2012.