by Martijn on 18/06/2014 | Cannabis News

Council of State: drugs tourists may be refused

Today, Wednesday 18 June 2014, the Council of State of the Netherlands pronounced its decision regarding a rule against which coffeeshops in Tilburg and Maastricht have protested for two years. Specifically, this concerns the 'I-Criterion', which states that Dutch coffeeshops may refuse to serve drugs to tourists, with the intent of preventing trouble and combating organised crime.


Today, Wednesday 18 June 2014, the Council of State of the Netherlands pronounced its decision regarding a rule against which coffeeshops in Tilburg and Maastricht have protested for two years.

Specifically, this concerns the ‘I-Criterion‘, which states that Dutch coffeeshops may refuse to serve drugs to tourists, with the intent of preventing trouble and combating organised crime. The coffeeshops feel that this only caters to discrimination.

Marc Josemans pleading for a fair cannabis policy in the Netherlands at the Cannabis Tribunal 2011.
Marc Josemans pleading for a fair cannabis policy in the Netherlands at the Cannabis Tribunal 2011.

However, the judge has ruled that making a distinction in the nationality of coffeeshop patrons is a legitimate method of achieving the above-mentioned goals. In his opinion, there are no other, less drastic measures available.

Marc Josemans, chairman of the Association of Official Coffeeshops in Maastricht (VOCM), has stated in his response that he feels that the decision of the Council of State is “disappointing and unpleasant.” Josemans expects that a majority of members of the Maastricht city council will address Mayor Onno Hoes about the issue, as various studies have indicated that this measure will only result in an increase in criminal behaviour.

Even though the I-Criterion is only sparsely enforced in the southern provinces of the Netherlands, its establishment is bad news for the Dutch coffeeshop sector. Despite resistance from more than 50 mayors, the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice, Ivo Opstelten, intends to introduce this policy nation-wide. Sensi Seeds hopes that he is unable to do so during the remainder of this cabinet’s term and that in two years, a new coalition government will change tack and choose a course more in line with international developments.

Keep your eye on the blog for more information on this and many other subjects.

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