The Netherlands: No weed for tourists in the South, tourists welcome in coffeeshops in the North.
My country, The Netherlands, aka: Holland, is part of the European Union and the United nations, but has been separated in two different parts, the Lower Netherlands and the Upper Netherlands. To avoid confusion, inhabitants of the Netherlands are called Dutch, or Dutchies, not Netherlanders.
In the part I consider the Lower Netherlands, below our big rivers, three of our 12 provinces, Noord-Brabant, Zeeland and Limburg, force their tolerated coffeeshopowners and coffeeshopstaff to discriminate foreigners. The remaining staff of those coffeeshops have to refuse non-Dutch persons entrance to the coffeeshops, so they can not buy cannabis in there, against their will and principles!
These are the evil remains of the failed Weedpass scheme, which was introduced in this part of the Netherlands on May 1, 2012.
Although the Weedpass has been cancelled nationwide, meaning: Dutch citizens do no longer have to register as a cannabis consumer in a coffeeshop, the three ‘border’ provinces still force coffeeshopstaff to uphold the discrimination of non-Dutch cannabists.
The Weedpass failed from the day it was put on paper, it became a disaster on the day it was introduced, it caused empty coffeeshops, hundreds of unemployed coffeeshop workers and an explosion of streetdeals and drugsrunners in all ‘affected’ cities.
It took a lot of protests and courtcases, even a new government, to get the Weedpass cancelled, although that should have been done after the first footage of the shameless streetdealers in Maastricht and Venlo were shown on national TV, on May 3.
Courtcases are ongoing, the verdict on the cases in Maastricht and Tilburg, both around coffeeshops in the Lower Netherlands, have been postponed. The owners of coffeeshop Easy Going in Maastricht and of coffeeshop Toermalijn in Tilburg are awaiting a decision, they allowed non-Dutch customers in after May 1, 2012, to provoke these courtcases.
In the Upper Netherlands, however, almost every City with coffeeshops, except Nijmegen and Dordrecht, still allow every world citizen over 18 years of age in their local coffeeshops, to buy and consume cannabis, as if the word Weedpass never existed.
For me, that means there are two Netherlands, one that complies with the Schengen agreement, the United Nations agreement and Article 1 of the Dutch Constitution, the part I call the Upper Netherlands, and another one, the one that made discrimination legal in a Courtroom.
When I come to the Netherlands, from Spain, I sometimes bring my Spanish born friend Adrian, he is a cannabis consumer and a huge coffeeshop fan.
I took Adrian to coffeeshops in Haarlem, Amsterdam, Dedemsvaart, Alkmaar and Beverwijk, he was always free to enter.
Now, if I want to take Adrian into coffeeshop the Jungle, in Oss, Noord-Brabant, to introduce him to my friend and colleague Rene, he can not come in with me, because he is banned by the Law in Lower Netherlands.
How can the Lower Netherlands still be part of the EU, if they do not comply with the Schengen Agreement, in which a free exchange of persons, goods, knowledge and services is guaranteed to all citizens of all EU countries?
I am very disappointed in this development in my country, once known for its tolerance and progressive drugs policy, and can only hope this serious attempt to segregate the south from the north will end soon. It is now known that certain people over 18, from all over the world, avoid a part of our tiny, narrow-minded non-country, they keep their eye on the one map that shows them which cities to avoid, if you like cannabis: The Cannabis Tourist Tolerance Map.
Our government changed on September 12, 2012, but the Minister of Justice and Safety, Opstelten, stayed in Office, one of many mistakes our Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, has made since the new Government took off.
May we have new elections soon, we need the union of the Netherlands restored, and Minister Opstelten should only be available in wax, at Madame Tussaud’s.
Nol van Schaik, Upper Netherlander.
In cannabis since 1986, and sick of prohibition.