Dutch cannabis cafes hurt by tourist ban to recieve government compensation


A coffee shop menu.

After the Netherlands banned public cannabis shops in border towns, southern Netherlands coffee shop owners say their business – both local and foreign – went in the gutter. Despite their anti-cannabis stance, the courts agreed and say the owners are entitled to compensation.
But the move also clarified the laws, upholding the bans and other measures used to prevent tourists from buying drugs in the country.

Cannabis isn’t even legal in the Netherlands. It’s merely tolerated. So these shops are being compensated for what is otherwise considered illegal drug sales. Government officials opposed to the judges ruling say they will appeal the decision.
No word on how much the shops would be compensated.
Dutch laws enacted in May of last year ban the sale of “soft drugs” in southern cities and municipalities bordering with Germany and Belgium. Dutch residents could possess a so-called weed pass that would allow them to buy the herb in limited quantities.
The ban was proposed in Amsterdam, long known as a safe-zone for cannabis commerce, but coffee shop owners there refused to play along. The measure was eventually overturned in the city, which still allows for open pot tourism.
Other Dutch cities have revolted as well. Maastricht coffee shop owners have been openly selling cannabis to tourists, despite court rulings and other measures that would otherwise curtail about two-thirds of all coffee shop traffic in the town. Police have begun arresting coffee shop owners and employees this week.
Coffee shop owners say they keep drug deals and drug dealers out of business.