Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2172 posts

A bad reporting on the actual situation here in The Netherlands. The compulsory registration for use of coffeeshops has been rolled back where it had already been enacted and will we cancelled soon, for the whole country. Local municipalities will allowed to retain/implement the system if they want to. The biggest backlash was that a centralized junkie register could be leaked/hacked/exposed, causing embarrassment for former users year after they stopped using that substance (many employers will just not give you a job if they had a way of knowing you are an active drug user). A new national law under discussion will restrict coffeeshops to legal residents in The Netherlands, but without registration. That means those who live in the country could use ID cards (which are mandatory here as in most Continental Europe), residence registration or (Dutch) driver's licenses to access these establishments. Which is not much different of what already happens today as they check IDs of people entering coffee shops for age control, except foreign passports (without a Dutch residence visa), foreign IDs etc. will no longer be accepted for gaining admission. That way, the concerns about a "junkie registrar" are eliminated, without hampering the ability to quash drug tourism. The measures seem to have broad support as they are proposed. Personally, I can't wait until the gentrification of the inner canal belt of Amsterdam accelerates and people from abroad start getting their fix in their own countries (and working with their, not ours, government to have cannabis legalized there).

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2155 posts

As I understand it, business in the border towns has dropped by 70%, so, of course, the coffee shop owners are lobbying hard to get the law changed. Not only did business drop due to a cessation of Germans coming over to get high, but the registry that Andre refers to kept locals away as well – who wants to put their name on a government registry? It's hard to fathom that a country that cherishes freedom so much would allow such a thing as a government registry in the first place. Personally, I don't have an opinion one way or the other on whether or not pot should be legal in the Netherlands or anywhere else - it's up to the people who live there.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7820 posts

Are people who smoke pot "junkies" lol,, never heard that one before.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6827 posts

A few months ago shortly after the Dutch elections, I posted a link to a NY Times article which predicated that the weedpass regulations were dead in the water because any new coalition govt. would have to scrap it to come to power. Andre heavily criticized the article essentially calling it rubbish. Guess what the NY Times was right and Andre wrong. Makes me also question Andre's angry retort of Rick's recent facebook postings on the very same subject.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7820 posts

Also Andre , you are waiting for the "gentrification" of the inner canal area, by eliminating the coffee houses and pot smoking, but what about the live sex shows and prostitution, in many countries people would consider those activities and areas rather unsavoury,, so are they next? Our visit to Amsterdam this summer ( height of tourist season, so assuming there were tons of "drug tourists" as well as the "regular " tourists around) we certainly did not notice the coffee shops as spewing rowdies into the street, they don't even serve alcohol, now, on other hand , stand outside a bar or nightclub later in evening, there are nice drunken idiots spewing out . If I had a choice between my grandmother standing outside a coffee shop or a nightclub i can tell you there is no question where I think she would be safer.

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2172 posts

Well, The elimination of the coffeeshop access pass is a lesser issue in the context of banning drug tourism. Mind you all, I'm in favor of legalization of most drugs - while allowing employers, universities etc. to pro-actively discriminate against users -. However, drug tourism is a serious issue near border cities. Gosh, I happen to live 15km from Belgian border. The effect of people flocking to my city (and many others) from Belgium are very real and widespread along the border. ============ @pat: I think prostitution should be legal, but behind closed doors, preferentially sunned away to industrial outskirts . Women displayed on windows are a sickening situation, and I can't wait for the clean-up of Amsterdam to keep going, albeit much slower than I'd like. I read how Rudolph Giuliani cleaned up New York midtown in less than 10 years, and wish a ruthless government that just uproot the seedy and sleazy establishments of central Amsterdam gained some traction here. So far, the only war Amsterdam is winning is the one against squatters and illegal occupiers of buildings. They are also catching up on graffiti removal.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6827 posts

"...I read how Rudolph Giuliani cleaned up New York midtown..." The cleanup of midtown (Times Square) was in progress long before Guliani took office. It started in the 80s when Ed Koch was in office, and mostly finished when Rudy was crowned.