Growing drug problems in Maastricht

1st June 2012, Comments 6 comments

The introduction of the weed pass in Maastricht on 1 May has led to a four-fold increase in street disturbances related to illegal sales of cannabis. However, the Maastricht council says this is mainly because people are less reluctant to file a complaint.

A special hotline received 619 complaints in May, compared to 166 one year ago. Since 1 May, coffeeshops in Maastricht can only sell cannabis to local residents who have registered with the coffeeshop and obtained a weed pass.

The pass, which will be introduced nationwide on 1 January 2013, is intended to put an end to the large numbers of foreigners travelling to the Netherlands from Germany, Belgium and France just to buy soft drugs.

Maastricht Mayor Hoes says he is satisfied about the new coffeeshops policy, despite the substantial increase in the number of complaints. He claims there has been a drop in the number of foreigners coming to Maastricht and says the disturbances from illegal cannabis sales are “manageable.”

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

6 Comments To This Article

  • Isaac Hunt posted:

    on 8th June 2012, 21:45:17 - Reply

    Quite apart from the bleedin' obvious points about increased crime
  • Ralph Love posted:

    on 6th June 2012, 15:50:33 - Reply

    Bedankt meneer Opstelten voor een goede oplossing voor werkloosheid. Nu kan iedereen op straat gaan dealen. Maakt niet uit wat je aan de toeristen verkoopt. Ik ben er wel trots op Opstelten. Hij volgt zijn visie. Je kunt al zien waar dat naartoe leidt. Hip Hip Hip hoerah
  • Heather posted:

    on 6th June 2012, 14:02:56 - Reply

    The black market is already established and this government has just given them free reign over the canibus/drug market. This is foolish and dangerous legislation that will result in the major cities of Holland come closer to resembling the American crime ridden inner-cities than the tolerant Netherlands of days gone bye.

    Those that believe that tourists should visit Holland for the art, culture and history miss the fact that those people are already do so. People who come for the drugs will still come because any druggie knows that there is always an illegal market to score in. This legislation has made far more problems than it has solved.

    Hold on to your hats, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!
  • R-evolution-TV posted:

    on 6th June 2012, 13:42:21 - Reply

    this whole things is stupid and we are going back to the dark ages with these rules. absolutely amazing how stupid these people can be! trust me, there is another reason behind this! Nobody has ever died from weed, nobody has ever OD on weed and have you ever heard of people who were stoned causing a bar fight or violence??? This is the new war on drugs imposed by the "free" U.S.A.
  • Simon posted:

    on 6th June 2012, 13:23:33 - Reply

    Stupid politician, obviously covering up the truth for some sneaky reason. Most likely he is connected to the illegal tax-free sales at higher prices, or has been persuaded to paint a nice picture to maintain the new laws, by criminal friends with full pockets. Obvious corruption - he's happy to waste police resources to line his own pocket.
  • Marco posted:

    on 6th June 2012, 12:09:31 - Reply

    A 4 fold increase in illegal street vendors is a success? so now you have potentially innocent buyers being pushed into the hands of the street dealers where i assume weed isn´t the only thing on the menu, coupled with the unregulated substances they are selling, the potential danger of meeting in a ¨back ally¨ where potentially anything can happen and thus have no recourse for justice (you don tell the police you`ve been robbed while engaging in illegal activity) So all this is MORE SAFE? i think the politician himself should stop using the stuff... its clearly warped his judgement...