On a recent visit to the Dutch city of Eindhoven, best know as home to the Phillips Electronic Company and the PSV Eindhoven football team, I was saddened to find that new laws in Holland, now discriminate against non nationals using their Cannabis Coffee shops. Once a friendly and welcoming place to all people, the Dutch Government has recently introduced a new law that outlaws the serving of non citizens on their premises. From the 1st of May, 2012, all shops in the southern provinces were forced to close their doors to tourists and non nationals who do not hold a workers permit. On January 1st, 2013, all Coffee Shops in Holland, including the Tourist city of Amsterdam, will stop selling their product to tourists. It will be interesting to see how this will work out in Amsterdam, which is famous worldwide for its Cannabis Coffee Shops.
The Dutch Government claim that buyers are travelling from France and Germany to purchase the drug to re sell back in their home towns. Drug Tourism, as it is referred to, is a problem that the Germans and French do not take kindly to. They are putting pressure on the Dutch Government to tighten, what they see, as loose drug legislation policy. The Dutch, normally a resilient, independent and pragmatic society, have agreed to the demands and pressures of Germany and France to tighten its policy on the sale of Cannabis. In a further sting in the tail for the Dutch smokers, the Government is set to introduce another law, that will class all Cannabis, with a THC level of 15% or higher, as a hard drug. Already reports suggest, that the Tourists now banned from the Cannabis Shops, are instead fuelling a now lucrative black market run by local criminals. This areas that these criminals are dealing in are now becoming anti-social areas and the residents aren't happy with their new neighbours.
In my opinion, its a further attack on liberal and free society in Europe, by the growing influence of a Federal State movement in Germany and France. If the Dutch wanted to stop Drug Tourism, then a restriction on the amount of Cannabis that a tourist could buy in any one shop, rather than a complete legal ban, could have solved that problem. The ban has now set a precedent in the once liberal and welcoming Dutch society, that will most probably lead to further restrictions in the future. Problems are almost certain to arise with the implementation of the new restrictive laws and the Police will start blaming the Coffee Shops for increased anti social behaviour. This will in turn make it easy for any Government to make a case to the General Public that the shops are a drain on public resources and should be shut down permanently. Hopefully the Dutch will see through the disguised plans of the Germans and French to permanently outlaw the sale of Cannabis in Holland and start to do something to protect their unique culture and identity.