Drug War

No Pot for You: The Dutch War on Tourism

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Last week the European Court of Justice rejected the argument that Maastricht's 2005 ban on marijuana sales to visitors from other countries violates the European Union's single-market rules. "The prohibition on the admission of non-residents to Netherlands 'coffee shops' complies with European Union law," the court said in response to a challenge by a Maastricht coffee shop owner. "That restriction is justified by the objective of combating drug tourism and the accompanying public nuisance, an objective which concerns both the maintenance of public order and the protection of the health of citizens at the level of the Member States at European level….As the release of narcotic drugs into the economic and commercial channels of the European Union is prohibited, a coffee-shop proprietor cannot rely on the freedoms of movement or the principle of non-discrimination in so far as concerns the marketing of cannabis."

The decision, which was requested by the Netherlands' highest court, the Council of State, could open the way to a nationwide ban on marijuana sales to nonresidents, which would make Amsterdam much less appealing to visitors attracted by its tolerant and lively cannabis scene. The current Dutch government, run by a coalition of Liberals and Christian Democrats, wants to issue "grass passes" that would be required for admission to coffee shops. "If the Council of State now rules that access to coffee shops can be limited to inhabitants of the Netherlands," a spokesman for the Dutch Ministry of Justice said, "then the grass pass can be limited to inhabitants of the Netherlands, and that helps combat drug tourism."

[via the Drug War Chronicle]

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  1. You keep saying no to me, but we both know you want it.

  2. Why do they want to combat drug tourism? Stupid fucks.

    1. Really, how much non-drug-tourism do they get there? Even the Griswolds didn’t stop in Holland.

    2. I bet it’s not the people who want pot, it’s the people who want other stuff, and it’s also because other countries still make it illegal.

      It’s like, you may want drugs to be legal, but until they are you don’t necessarily want drug dealers in your neighborhood because criminals show up. After drugs are legal, the criminal element will begin to disappear.

      1. obviously by criminal i mean the violent organized crime that accompanies black markets. Not people who are called criminals because they ingest something.

  3. And in a couple of years they will complain about lost tourism dollars.

  4. No Pot for You: The European Union’s War on Dutch War on Tourism

    FIFY

    1. I think the decision was actually made by the Dutch gov’t, then challenged all the way up to the EU high court. So it may be both.

  5. No Pot for You: The Dutch War on Tourism
    The decision…would make Amsterdam much less appealing to visitors

    So a nation should tailor its laws based on the concerns of foreign pot-smokers who, somehow, have decided that it might be cool to spend a few hundred or thousand dollars to go to the Netherlands just for the thrill of smoking pot in another country? I don’t know what the technical term for this argument is, but I’d call it “a stretch.”

    1. A nation should tailor its laws to allow maximum liberty within its borders for both citizens and tourists by not making arbitrary distinctions between them.

      1. How’s the air up there on your high horse, guy with the stupid Ayn Rand character-handle? The point of the article was that this decision would somehow deal a devastating blow to Dutch tourism. I pointed out that people who smoke pot are unlikely to travel to the Netherlands just to smoke pot in a foreign land. I know it’s difficult, especially on the internet, but do try to focus. Thanks.

        1. People who don’t smoke pot domestically ARE likely to enjoy pot tourism. Potheads don’t need to travel to get lit, but many people like pot but will only partake if it’s “legal”. Yeah it’s a stupid reason, but anecdotally I know many who would love to smoke in Amsterdam, but wouldn’t think of doing it back home.

        2. “I pointed out that people who smoke pot are unlikely to travel to the Netherlands just to smoke pot in a foreign land.”

          Hey Asscunt, if it is so unlikely, then why was any action taken at all?

          You are one stupid, stupid motherfucker.

          1. Europeans routinely hop on planes and trains to go to some other country for a weekend (or even a night — sometimes they don’t even bother to check into a hotel). It has become common practice for groups of young people to go somewhere and get totally blotted out for a weekend wreaking havoc with the locals.

            So yeah, drug tourism to the Netherlands is actually a problem.

            1. So is drug tourism to a lot of other countries. The drug in those countries tends to be alcohol, though.

            2. That was my point.

              1. I was agreeing — nested comment failure on my part

          2. As if British tourists don’t go to Amsterdam for a weekend night going between cafes, pubs, and brothels.

            1. Beware the terrifying chavalier!

              1. Is that where chav comes from?? Chavalier?

                The guys I saw were more like a football team on holiday. I think of wiggery white trash kids when I hear chav.

                1. Nah, that’s just chav + cavalier – i.e. the rampaging chav abroad.

                  Chav is (amusingly/apocryphally) reputed to be an acronym for “council housed and violent” or “Cheltenham Average.”

                  The etymology is pretty much completely unknown, IIRC.

                  The OED entry is as follows:

                  [Probably either < Romani {chacek}havo unmarried Romani male, male Romani child (see CHAVVY n.), or shortened < either CHAVVY n. or its etymon Angloromani chavvy.
                  It has also been suggested that this word is a colloquial shortening of Chatham, the name of a town in Kent where the term is sometimes said to have originated (compare quots. 1998, 2002), although this is probably a later rationalization.]

                  In the United Kingdom (originally the south of England): a young person of a type characterized by brash and loutish behaviour and the wearing of designer-style clothes (esp. sportswear); usually with connotations of a low social status.
                  1998 Re: Commuter blues! in uk.local.kent (Usenet newsgroup) 8 May, Travelling from Maidstone to Chatham every day was bad enough. I was born in Brompton so am I a Chav or what? 2002 Observer 26 May I. 5/5 Meet the Chatham Girls, known as ‘Chavs’, whose fashion sense and reputation for easy virtue have earned them a global following as worthy successors to their northern neighbours [sc. Essex Girls]. 2004 Sunday Times (Nexis) 15 Aug. (News Rev. section) 4 Older children desire nothing more than to dress, talk and behave like chavs, that is, a youth tribe that prides itself on council-estate chic{em}man-made fabrics, fake labels and lots of eight-carat gold: think Vicky Pollard in Little Britain.

                  1. Meet the Chatham Girls, known as ‘Chavs’, whose fashion sense and reputation for easy virtue have earned them a global following

                    Classy.

                    1. Mate, no where keeps it classy like the UK.

                    2. British girls are great. I spent six weeks there in 2002, and it was a fun time.

                      Unfortunately, I went over for work, and my partying / carousing didn’t help my career.

          3. Pip|12.22.10 @ 4:04PM|#
            Hey Asscunt, if it is so unlikely, then why was any action taken at all?

            Let me guess…for exactly the opposite reason I cited? Nice use of the insult, by the way, to try to make a point. Yes, I’m an “asscunt.” Seems physiologically impossible to me, but if that’s what your wet dreams are all about, who am I to interfere in your life aspirations?

            1. This word excites me for some reason….

            2. See rectovaginal fistula if asscunt doesn’t work for you.

        3. Yeah, why would somebody who smokes pot ever want to travel to the Netherlands so they could do so in the open, in a legal, comfortable matter, enjoy the social scene that surrounds its use, and take advantage of an actual marketplace that affords them the opportunity to try different and varied kinds of weed and hash (many of which are considered to be the best in the world).

          People neeeever go to, say, France to drink the wine after all when they can drink wine at home.

          1. People neeeever go to, say, France to drink the wine

            That’s not their primary motive for going, correct. They go because it’s France. Ever been outside your mom’s attic? Americans can get high whenever they want with virtually no chance of getting caught, if they have half a brain. And they can have French wine at home, too. And Stilton cheese from the UK. If The Netherlands were the only place on Earth where you could smoke pot, then this spurious argument would have some validity. The fact that smoking pot is illegal in most places hasn’t stopped anyone from smoking it if he wanted to. To say an average pot smoker will spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to go to The Netherlands just to get high is idiotic. That’s like a Floridian traveling to San Francisco for an Anchor Steam Beer when he can get a six pack at his local store.

            1. No, it’s like residents of the other 49 states coming to New Orleans to enjoy our lax open container laws. Sure you can drink beer at home anywhere in the US but if you want to walk around with your drink (or even ride around in the automobile with a drink, you have to come to NOLA. The Weed tourism in Amsterdam is the same. Why do think the Cannabis Cup is held there and not in California?

  6. The current Dutch government, run by a coalition of Liberals and Christian Democrats, wants to issue “grass passes” that would be required for admission to coffee shops.

    Don’t you just love these “solutions” the bureaucratic establishment invents to solve the problems they create?

    Old Mexican’s Law of Public Policy: The rate of increase of the number of solutions required to fix a problem created by a previous “solution” is geometric, and the rate of increase of the number of problems that stem from each of those solutions is also geometric.

    1. “Let’s ban foreigners from an activity so we have an excuse to charge our citizens an extra fee to partake in said activity. Wooo.”
      -Eurodouche Legislator, c.2005

  7. So, what… is it still against the law to travel to another country to do something that is against the law in your own country? Seems that’s what this Dutch law is about, keeping people from violating laws from their own countries while visiting the Netherlands.

    1. By that logic the United States should prohibit Saudi female tourists from driving or Afghans from converting to a religion other than Islam while in the United States.

      1. Thanks for the ideas!

        1. Allahu-akhbar!!

  8. “That restriction is justified by the objective of combating drug tourism and the accompanying public nuisance, an objective which concerns both the maintenance of public order and the protection of the health of citizens at the level of the Member States at European level….As the release of narcotic drugs into the economic and commercial channels of the European Union is prohibited, a coffee-shop proprietor cannot rely on the freedoms of movement or the principle of non-discrimination in so far as concerns the marketing of cannabis.”

    It’s kind of amazing, the stuff people write when they’re high.

  9. So are they going to limit access to the hookers in the windows to Dutch nationals as well?

    1. Hey, let’s not get crazy now.

  10. Can I still get into the Korova Milk Bar for a glass of vellocet?

    1. A fine question, oh my brother. Then off for a bit of the old in-out, in-out with a devotchka, all nice and horrorshow.

  11. I stayed around the corner from Smokey’s pictured above on the Rembrandt Plein. Walked by that place multiple times but it looked like one of the least desirable cafes I had seen. And I think it’s pretty obvious that was going to be a shitty tourist garbage spot.

    Bonus – having Dutch police explain that they found your friend wandering the streets tripping balls on mushrooms, and the officer fumbling for the phrase “freaked out.” They must be pretty used to it, as it wasn’t a problem to get him back from police custody.

  12. Have the tourists really been behaving badly in the neighborhoods of the coffee shops?

  13. Party poopers…

  14. And the Dutch mafia cheers! “Yay another black market for us”! “Let’s start killing each other for control”!

  15. Grass pass my ass!

    No comment, just wanted to say that.

  16. There is still some hope left, because the Dutch high court has yet to make a decision. And I think their view of what discrimination is, is not the same as what the EU has shown in this prejudicial opinion.

  17. Second look at. . . .PORTUGAL!

    Woo Hooooo!

    1. And better weather, too!

      1. Probably lower prices / cost of living, too.

  18. How fucked up is it when Pat Robertson is smarter than the Dutch?

  19. Hey man, can you buy something for me in the Coffee Shop? Can you get me in?

  20. good they were way to over priced as were their skanks and of pure quality.Thier monopoly is over. I cant wait till medicare pays for mine.They got the good shit mon

  21. Anecdotally – a group of us are going next month for one reason, to smoke without fear of legal intrusion.

    CB

  22. “Why do they want to combat drug tourism? Stupid fucks.”

    Well, I’m for legalization, but the grass-pass-crowd has a point.

    There may not be a reason for such passes in Amsterdam, but in other, more remote provincial areas in the Netherlands lots of French, Swiss, Spanish, Belgian and Eastern European types stop by to buy the stuff and create all kinds of trouble. These small villages have the unfortunate disadvantage to be near the border and thus have lots of that kind of ‘tourism’. Their ‘tourists’ contributions are a net burden to their society.

    In Amsterdam, you have the nice young adventurous Brits, Australians and Americans who, indeed, contribute to the economy with their ‘tourism’.

  23. “How fucked up is it when Pat Robertson is smarter than the Dutch?”

    The cognitive dissonance is quite striking here.

    Here, we have a country that actully legalized consumption of marijuana and after years of trial doesn’t like all consequences of legalization. The lessons the Dutch learned the hard way should be studied by libertarians, not immediately refuted.

    There’s also a big difference between actual legalization and decriminilization. Marijuana isn’t legal to sell (or produce) in the Netherlands; it’s just not criminal to use or buy it.

  24. “Let’s start killing each other for control!”

    There have been marijuana selling mobs in the Netherlands since legalization started. They’ve also been killing each other ferociously for decades.

    Just check out random names as Klaas Bruinsma, Willem Holleeder, Sam Klepper, John Mieremet, etc. Truth be told, they did move up to real estate schemes after they became millionnaires; they followed the Greenspan bubbles like the rest of us.

  25. “A nation should tailor its laws to allow maximum liberty within its borders for both citizens and tourists by not making arbitrary distinctions between them.”

    You call me when that happens world-wide and we’ll see.

  26. Whilst the dutch were over-run by Nazi’s, my and my step son’s grandparents fought to free the Dutch.
    I myself enjoyed coffee shops in early 1990’s, and caused no bother. (Rookies)
    Now WE are disciminated against and labelled “scum” and yet WE have committed no crime. You are today’s Nazi’s! Would WE fight for your rights, probably not.

  27. while we are at it. Some polish people came and worked at Tesco’s and trashed a house, stealing toilets etc. We would like to ban all Polish people from working in England, based on this anti-social behaviour. Then there was a Dutch guy who crapped on our war memorial, hey lets ban all you phoney EU citizens who didn’t defeat the Nazis

  28. Hey, aren’t we funding your EU crap, hey cancel the check. Now who is dumb tourist?

  29. it is against our national security to fund your black citizens on the dole

  30. how do you like being odd one out? No, then don’t treat us the same. We all have freedom of movement within EU, that is our choice, not governments.

  31. racism and nationalism cuts BOTH ways

  32. This is a bad ruling, pandering to anti soft drugs, and has nothing to do with good EU law

  33. Look to US Articles of Confederation, the same stuff happened in 1800’s USA.

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