The Dutch Government has fallen, making most people think this means the Weedpass will not be implemented. I wish it was true, believe me, but that is not the case. The Weedpass was activated officially on January 1, 2012. Justice Minister Opstelten decided to postpone the prosecution for breach of the Weedpass rules, only because there was too little time for municipalities and coffeeshops to prepare the introduction of the Weedpass. He decided to start prosecuting eventual breach of the Weedpass rules until May 1, 2012, for the three southern provinces, Noord-Brabant, Limburg en Zeeland. The rest of the country was granted a delay in prosecution until January 1, 2013.
Coffeeshops go to court
The hope for Dutch coffeeshops and their visitors is now focused on the result of the Courtcase of 19 Dutch coffeeshops, representing all 650, vs the State of the Netherlands.
The verdict will be on Friday, April 27, just days before the eventual introduction of the Weedpass in the South. The case was about the discrimination of tourists at the entrance of Dutch Coffeeshops, 'we' were represented by 4 specialized 'Cannabis' Lawyers, they came up with all arguments they could come up with, all great arguments, in my opinion.
The State Lawyer, Mr Daalder, ranted on about the new Law, and how good it would be once it was implemented. It would solve all disturbance around coffeeshops, in the whole country, not only in the Southern Provinces. The Judge interrupted him, and told him the eventual disturbance was already covered by the current coffeeshop policy, he told him to get to the point.
The State Lawyer also stated that the verdict of the EU Court, about being able to exclude tourists from BUYING cannabis, was not strong enough to deny tourists from entering a coffeeshop to buy a snack or a drink!! That is why, he continued, we decided to turn coffeeshops into members clubs, to be able to exclude tourists from coffeeshops all together!!
I think this is not only discrimination, this is double discrimination!!!
But, looking at the 'bright' side of this evil scheme, this only goes for Maastricht, as they are the only Municipality that has the Resident Criterium (IC) implemented in their Local Police Law. Only by having this IC as an excuse, the EU Judge could rule the way he did, no other City or village in the Netherlands has the IC in their Local Police Law (APV). So, without the IC in the APV, refusing tourists from coffeeshops is plain and open discrimination, just like refusing a foreigner from a bar or disco.
This is why this link, made available by the Dutch Government, is important to open, because it shows that you can just go to the police, after you have been refused entrance to a coffeeshop in the Netherlands, except in the City of Maastricht.
Do not let the Weedpass scare you away, if you really want to keep coming to the Dutch coffeeshops, as you are entitled to, PLEASE DO SO !
Help us, and help yourself into the coffeeshops!
Only the first few hunderd tourists will have to 'force' their way into a coffeeshop, with a little help from anti discrimination laws and the Police! After a few hundred charges for discrimination at coffeeshops filed, the Police and the Courts will tell the powerless Government to stop this nonsense!
Keep on going to the coffeeshops in the South, and get your rights to enter a coffeeshop at the nearest cop!
By Nol van Schaik
Coffeeshop entrepreneur since 1991.