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'Drug squirrel' fear ahead of Dutch dope ban

The Local · 17 Apr 2012, 10:57

Published: 17 Apr 2012 10:57 GMT+02:00

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From next month Dutch coffee shops will only be allowed to sell marijuana to Dutch citizens who have registered as members and each shop is limited to having 2,000 members.

The stringent new rules will likely affect Germany's drug tourism to the Netherlands, and police fear that users will make bulk purchases over the next two weeks in preparation for the coming cannabis famine.

According to police in the small town of Viersen, young people returning from drug runs in the Netherlands have caused considerable problems in the past.

"We have a special problem because it's just a three-kilometre walk to the Dutch border," police spokesman Bernd Klein told The Local.

The Viersen police organized a "drug-trail" taskforce in 2008 to patrol and restrict the drug tourism passing through the town.

"Some of the drug tourists urinated in front gardens, left rubbish and sometimes it came to loud and physical confrontations as well as robberies," a police statement published on Monday said.

"They came from all over the region – from as far as Düsseldorf or Cologne," Klein told The Local.

"There used to be a few more of them in the school holidays."

Story continues below…

"We have the problem largely under control now, but we're introducing more patrols as a preventative measure," said Klein. "We're looking to maintain the increased controls after May 1 as well."

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:43 April 17, 2012 by Californian
Here's your chance Germany, open your own coffee shops and net those euros that will be looking for a new home. "Problem" solved, and the police can go after real criminals, which would be an even larger problem wouldn't it?

Anyone can still go to Amsterdam and it's business as usual.

These discriminatory rules are mainly for the areas ''Noord Brabant'' ''Zeeland'' and ''Limburg''.

In other words, Germans and Belgians.


09:56 April 17, 2012 by raandy
You can still go to Amsterdam, and business as usual UNTIL Jan, 2013, then the rules apply over all of the Netherlands.
10:28 April 17, 2012 by Ruhetag
The Amsterdam ban will only affects hash, not leafy green sticky buds.
10:50 April 17, 2012 by raandy
Relaxed Day, i checked that out and you are correct, the plan is to eliminate the foreign products "hash" from entering the country and only sell the native grown leafy products .
12:07 April 17, 2012 by Sayer
Want to REALLY address this issue? Decriminalize the stuff in Germany, apply sane regulations (a possible oxymoron in Germany) and tax it. Supply, demand, revenue. It's that simple.
13:32 April 17, 2012 by elboertjie
If hemp is REALLY the problem, why then not ban alcohol as well?

Drugs are not the problem, regulations and the propaganda about it are.

Decrimilise drugs alltogether.
14:21 April 17, 2012 by jg.
@elboertjie Plainly, alcohol and tobacco are too well established but they probably would be banned if either were first introduced now.

Anyway, long term use of MJ does impair cognitive ability - and apparently, spelling :-)
16:30 April 17, 2012 by Eastard
As with alcohol there should be a simple field test for impaired behavior from MJ.. Deregulation is easy... enforcement is not. There are many many things citizens can do become impaired. Managing one's consumption in a way that does not endanger others or place support burdens on others is the best way to go... Folks riding the public support ticket should not be allowed to use public money to get high unless medically prescribed...
17:31 April 17, 2012 by derExDeutsche
F Amsterdam, come to the Bay Area, Cali. Better weed, better weather.
09:26 April 18, 2012 by JAMessersmith

Marijuana wasn't "first introduced now". It's been around for quite some time (as in, it's been around for countless millennia). There is archaeological evidence to show that the Germanic and Celtic tribes were burning cannabis plants en masse on top of bonfires and breathing in the smoke thousands of years ago. So, this is not a new phenomenon that was just introduced into Europe.

And as for cognitive ability, I think you'd be surprised to learn just how many established professionals smoke marijuana on a regular or semi-regular basis. It's not something confined to jazzbos and beatniks anymore. As Peter Tosh once said, "Doctors smoke it, and players of instruments too". That's the case here in California, at least. Stoners wear suits now. It may be a different story in places like Oklahoma and Alabama, but the more settled regions of the country began the process of acceptance long ago. And one would think that Europe is much further along with that, speaking from an historical perspective. You guys have been killing each other for generations. Time to mellow out and smoke a joint. The Dutch have suffered far worse invasions than this.
10:42 April 18, 2012 by jg.
"Marijuana wasn't "first introduced now""

Agreed - but unlike alcohol and tobacco, it is not already legally available for sale. My point was that alcohol and tobacco would likely banned, were they not already legally available.

There may be a wide variety of people using MJ on a regular basis but that doesn't alter the long term effects, in the same way that the alcohol being so widely consumed doesn't detract from the liver damage caused by long term alcohol abuse.

Personally, I don't care what people do to themselves in their free time but I wouldn't want to have my life in the hands of someone under the influence of MJ, alcohol or anything that is likely to impair their judgement - that would mean doctors, train drivers, other road users, etc.
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