Maastricht to get less strict on cannabis sales to foreigners?
Foreign visitors to the Dutch town of Maastricht may find it easier to get their hands on cannabis, a week after a court ruled a ban on selling it to foreigners was, itself, illegal.
Maastricht Mayor Otto Hoes had tried to close the Easy Going coffee shop after it sold marijuana to non-Dutch citizens. Hoes’ spokesman said of youngsters coming to Maastricht to buy the drug: “They were noisy, unruly, a nuisance.” As many as 1.6 million ‘cannabis tourists’ flocked to the town each year.
Last year a judge upheld a law that came into force nationwide on January 1, 2013, and made it illegal for foreign tourists to enter cannabis coffee shops, amid a push by conservatives to stop ‘cannabis tourism.’ But pro-coffee shop lobbyists in Amsterdam, fearing an adverse effect on tourist revenues, managed to tone down the law; as a result individual towns now decide whether or not to ban the sale of cannabis to tourists.
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