Maastricht to curb coffeeshop nuisance

4th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

The southern Dutch city of Maastricht wants to limit by 20 percent the nuisance caused by tourists visiting the city’s cannabis coffeeshops. They hope to do this by allowing only Dutch, Belgian and German nationals into cafes where the sale of small quantities of hash and marijuana are tolerated by the Dutch authorities.

Marc Josemans, chairman of the Association of Official Coffeeshops Maastricht VOCM, announced the plan on Thursday, saying it would reduce the number of annual visitors by half a million.

Beginning in September, Maastricht’s coffeeshops will distribute flyers notifying foreign visitors that they will not be admitted after 1 October. A media campaign will spread the news to France, Luxembourg, Italy and Spain.

The municipality said it was aware of the VOCM's plan but did not back it. It's awaiting the introduction of national policy restricting coffeeshop access to Dutch residents.

A municipality spokesperson also warned that the move may be discriminatory, specifically questioning how Maastricht’s coffeeshops could legally deny access to a Frenchman but not to a Belgian. According to the VOCM, this is legally possible.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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