Feb 192012
 February 19, 2012

bulldog coffee shopBy Phillip Smith

All 16 cannabis coffee shops in the city of Haarlem have united in opposition to the Dutch government’s “Weed Pass” program, which would bar foreigners from entry to the coffee shops and make the coffee shops “members only” for Dutch citizens. The plan foresees placing a cap on the number of members each coffee shop could have.

The conservative coalition governing the Netherlands doesn’t like marijuana. It has created the Weed Pass program first as a measure to reduce “drug tourism” in Dutch border cities, and second as a means of restricting coffee shop numbers within the county. It was supposed to be rolled out in the border towns in January, but has been delayed until May, and is supposed to go nationwide next year, despite objections from, among others, the city of Amsterdam.

The Haarlem coffee shop owners, unified as Team Haarlems’ Coffeeshopentrepreneurs (THC), announced Friday that they “have decided not to comply with the new criteria for tolerated coffee shops, like registering Dutch citizens as cannabis users, and discriminating against all non-Dutch coffee shop visitors.”

The Weed Pass plan would bankrupt their businesses and lead to increases in street drug dealing and personal marijuana cultivation, the association warned. It cited the results of a poll of 700 coffee shop patrons it had conducted.

That poll found that only 12.4% of participants would register under the Weed Pass program. Nearly 63% said they would buy marijuana on the black market, while 21.7% said they would grow their own instead.

If coffee shops lost nearly 90% of their clientele, they would go broke, so complying with the Weed Pass “is simply no option,” the association said. Closing up shop would result in the loss of about 90 “budtender” jobs in the city, they added.

“We cannot beat bankruptcy, so our staff, customers and ourselves are ready to start a struggle with Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten, before our civilized city will be divided in working areas for street dealers and drug runners,” the association vowed.

Haarlem is a city of about 150,000 people just west of Amsterdam and on the northern fringe of the Randstad, a conurbation of 7.1 million people, that includes Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, and Utrecht, and is one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe.

Article From StoptheDrugWar.orgCreative Commons Licensing

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About Jay Smoker

I have been smoking marijuana for almost twenty years and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. My life was turned upside down in 2009 after getting arrested and tossed in jail for being in the wrong state with legal medical marijuana. I got fed up, and I now devote all my time to ending this insanity.I am responsible for the technical side of this project, but try to chip in when I can, either with syndicated articles or original content.Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.Feel free to email. any questions or concerns. Peace!
  • mark mailer

    closing the shops will have detrimental effects not only for the shops,but for the buyer having to go to crime ridden areas.at the end of the day we have to ask ouselfs what other problems we might face entering these areas in search for herbs…….man mad booze-god made grass who do we trust.:)

  • Dave

    this is pathetic, it will create a black market which is the very reason why it was tolerated in the first place!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mrlunk Peter Lunk
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-M-Cooper/1228309664 Steven M. Cooper

     “The most amazing thing about cannabis is its ability to addle the brains
    of those who do not use it!” – Russ Belville, NORMLSeems like the Conservatives in the Netherlands are going against the will of the people….over a simple herbal plant.

  • Bruno24

    There should be laws against discriminating laws.