- Category: News-wietpas
- Created on Friday, 27 April 2012 12:45
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
Owners of ‘coffeeshops’ claimed the measure discriminated against their business and would force them to breach their customers’ privacy.
From May 1 the establishments will become private clubs with a limit of 2,000 members, who must live in the locality of the coffeeshop.
They will have to register for a membership card – the so-called ‘wietpas’ – in order to gain access.
The government says the measure is needed to cut out the problem of drug tourism, which it says has made the Netherlands vulnerable to the cross-border drug trade.
A group of 19 coffeeshop owners, together with several rights organisations, applied las week for an injunction from the court in The Hague to block the introduction of the measure.
After the court turned down the bid today, the group’s lawyer said they would appeal against the decision at the Supreme Court.
An earlier judgment by the Council of State ruled that the wietpas was only applicable in areas where foreign coffeeshop visitors caused a public nuisance.
It came into force on January 1 in the three provinces on the Belgian border - Zeeland, North Brabant and Limburg. The rest of the country will enforce the measure from May 1.
While the wietpas has been welcomed in cities near the border, such as Maastricht, Breda and Eindhoven, other communities have been more critical. Haarlem has vowed to defy the move altogether.