- Category: News-wietpas
- Created on Thursday, 01 March 2012 17:57
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
The two parties in the governing coalition, the Liberals (VVD) and Christian Democrats (CDA), along with Geert Wilders’s Freedom Party (PVV) have all voiced their support for the wide-ranging measure.
It comes amid concerns that the trade is financing organised crime in countries such as Afghanistan and Morocco, which supply the bulk of cannabis consumed in the Netherlands.
Cannabis has been available to buy in licensed ‘coffeeshops’ for decades, but only in small quantities and under tightly controlled conditions. The ban on importing the drug is one of a number of legal anomalies that cafe owners have to contend with.
Last year the government responded to criticism that the Netherlands was facilitating drugs tourism by proposing the so-called wietpas (weed pass), a compulsory membership scheme for coffeeshops which would exclude non-Dutch residents.
Now it seems the tide is turning. Ard van der Steur, an MP with the VVD party, said: ‘The sales keep the imports coming in. It’s very strange that our customs officials are doing everything to stop the drugs being imported, but they can still be sold as usual once they get through the border.’
The plan has met with some resistance from the Amsterdam local branch of the VVD, as well as from coffeeshop owners.