Earlier in the week I wrote about New Zealand’s ACT Leader Don Brash and some thoughts on the decriminalisation of cannabis on Short Sighted Kiwis. In the post I called on the experience of other countries, including Holland, and the problems they have encountered, not over the use of cannabis, but the ‘drug tourists’ who come because it is illegal in their own countries.

Here is a report from the BBC News:

Maastricht bans cannabis coffee-shop tourists

Cannabis is widely available in the coffee shops of Maastricht

A ban on some foreign tourists has come into force in the cannabis-selling coffee shops of the Dutch border city of Maastricht.

City authorities say the influx of tourists buying soft drugs is threatening public order and causing major traffic problems.

Coffee shop owners say the ban won’t work and will hit the local economy.

However, the ban does not apply to visitors from Germany and Belgium who are the majority of foreign customers.

The move comes ahead of a proposed nationwide crackdown being discussed in the Dutch parliament.

The BBC’s Anna Holligan says the ban is being seen as a test case that could be implemented in other Dutch towns and cities.

There are about 700 coffee shops in the Netherlands. The cultivation and sale of soft drugs through them is decriminalised although not legal.

An estimated 6,000 people visit Maastricht’s coffee shops every day – most making the quick trip across the border from Belgium and Germany.

But from Saturday, anyone who doesn’t hold a Dutch, Belgian or German passport will be told to leave.

Opinion:

Quite rightly so. These ‘drug tourists’ should stay at home and make their governments change the law, so they can enjoy the fruits of their labours in their own back yard without being labelled criminals.

Holland is trying to be responsible about the whole thing, if the neighbouring countries weren’t so pig-headed, they too could take advantages of relaxing the law and have the people spending their millions at home instead of putting it in the Dutch coffers.

NB:

I know this is not intended as a political blog, but I couldn’t resist a comment on this subject.

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