Marijuana seed: Dutch politicians aim to ban some tourists from their marijuana “coffee shops”.

As the New Year is fast approaching this marijuana seed article takes a look at the Netherlands and their changing policies that will soon take effect. As of January 1st 2012, a new policy will come into effect in some areas of the Netherlands’ southern provinces, meaning that all foreigners will be banned from selling marijuana in “coffee shops”. The Netherlands, which has been famous worldwide for its liberal marijuana policies, is now one step closer to facilitating “weed passes” in order to discourage the sale of marijuana to foreign tourists, as a result of a court ruling in June of this year.

Dutch “coffee shops” have always openly sold cannabis flowers as well as hashish to customers, who have included foreign tourists visiting the area, some may say mainly for this experience. However, over the past three years there have been changes pushed through by the successive governments in order to discourage the sale of “soft drugs” on health and crime grounds. The changes are set to continue as 2013 will see the 2012 ban being imposed across the remaining nine provinces in the Netherlands, which will include Amsterdam.

Licensed coffee shops will turn into “members only” enterprises, where only Dutch citizens who are over the age of 18 will be able to join. It has been claimed that the changes are due to the problems caused by the “drug tourists” of a night in the country. The flip side of this coin has some officials worried that the country will suffer due to its tourism industry taking a hit. Currently, 23% of visitors to Amsterdam frequent coffee shops while they are in the city. Moreover, others argue that this policy will encourage the illegal sale of drugs and send the market underground.

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