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Mixed views regarding latest rules banning tourists from Dutch cannabis cafes

Marijuana Industry MAASTRICH, Netherlands — The new rules banning tourists from cannabis cafes in the south of the Netherlands have apparently been welcomed by people living close to the cafes in Maastricht, mayor Onno Hoes told news agency ANP on Tuesday.

'The system is workable,' Hoes claims. The ban was introduced in the south of the country at the beginning May and will be expanded nationwide in 2013. The government hopes the new rules will reduce drugs tourism and criminality.

The mayor told reporters he did not know if the positive signs were due to the fact 13 of the city's 14 cannabis cafes have closed their doors in protest at the new policy. In addition, he admitted 20 street dealers have been arrested since the new law came into effect.

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"This new policy of The Netherlands can have side effects in Belgium such as more cannabis planting, illegal sales moving (across the border) or more touts looking for potential customers on the highways," Interior Minister Joelle Milquet said in a statement.

One can expect to see an upsurge in street dealing, as the cannabis banning rules may reduce "drug tourism", but they certainly won't reduce criminal activities. In addition, Cannabis coffee shops are known to provide safe "untainted" products, which will now be a mystery with the rise of drug dealers peddling marijuana to tourists in dark alleys.