- Category: News-wietpas
- Created on Thursday, 17 May 2012 11:17
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
Marc Josemans, who is chairman of the Maastricht Association of Official Coffeeshops (VMOC) will seek an injunction on June 5, arguing that the rules are discriminatory and council officials have no powers to enforce them.
Mr Josemans’ Easy Going coffeeshop was closed for a month after he refused to provide officials with a list of members, as required by law.
Since May 1 only registered members, who must be resident in the Netherlands, have been allowed to enter cannabis cafes in the three southern provinces of Limburg, North Brabant and Zeeland. The rules will apply to the whole country from next year.
Mr Josemans signalled on the first day of the new regime that he intended to ignore the rules and go to court if the city council closed his business.
An earlier attempt by coffeeshop owners to block the wietpas law was rejected last month by a court in The Hague.
Coffeeshop owners say restricting access to their businesses will boost the illegal street trade and increase, rather than reduce, public disorder.
Maastricht’s mayor, Onno Hoes, said he had received ‘largely positive’ responses to the new rules since they came into force.
The council said police had caught 20 drug dealers on the city’s streets in the first week of May, a higher number than usual.
Police in the three southern provinces said there had not been a noticeable rise in public disorder or street dealing since the wietpas rules took effect.
However, coffeeshop owners and local residents in the town of Goes, told Omroep Zeeland they had seen more drug dealing in the streets.
Jeanet van Mastricht, who owns a tobacco store, said: ‘My daughter came home late one evening last week and saw groups of people dealing drugs in five different places. The streets are definitely less quiet.’