New hurdle in Dutch plan to stop marijuana tourism

AP News
|
Posted: Jun 29, 2011 10:30 AM
New hurdle in Dutch plan to stop marijuana tourism

The Dutch government's plan to stop tourists from buying marijuana in the Netherlands has apparently been set back after a ruling from the country's top legal advisory body.

The Council of State was ruling on a 2006 ordinance by the city of Maastricht barring foreigners from "coffee shops," where cannabis is openly sold.

Marijuana possession is illegal in the Netherlands but tolerated in small amounts.

The council said Wednesday Maastricht overstepped its authority: national law already theoretically bans selling marijuana, so cities can't regulate sales.

The ruling implies the government must change the law in order to bar foreigners, rather than simply amending policy. Prime Minister Mark Rutte repeated the plan will go ahead, without specifying how.