here is an article i found in a newspaper called the advertiser from australlia, is this true????? will they refuse to sell to me next month when I go to Maastrich, will i have to drive to Heelen instead? what the fuck, one minute this mayor wants to legalize cultivation, now he wants to ban foreigners, anyone else been to Maastrich, is this for real????
" City that went to pot strikes back
By FIONA BARTON
THE Smoky Boat is a big tourist attraction in Maastricht.
Floating on the river that bisects this affluent Dutch city, its white hull gleams under arc lamps, and the twinkling of lights within entices the passers-by up its gangplank.
It is early evening and the snow is threatening to start again as dozens of young men and women skid across icy cobbles to reach it.
Inside, huddles of youngsters are playing cards beneath the red lightbulbs or amusing themselves with the children's game Hangman.
It looks like a dimly-lit youth club with nothing to recommend it as the venue for an evening out.
Then you see the menu posted behind a small serving hatch at the rear. The Smoky Boat shop has remarkably limited fare: no alcohol, just tea, coffee, orange juice, instant soup, toasted sandwiches and ... cannabis. Since 1976, a limited number of licensed premises, known euphemistically as coffee shops, have been allowed to sell cannabis in The Netherlands.
This relaxation of the law has allowed the Dutch to smoke without fear of prosecution, but it has also created a monster in Maastricht.
The city's proximity to the borders of France, Belgium and Germany has made it the centre of Europe's cannabis tourism.
Each year, 1.5 million young day trippers flood to the Smoky Boat and the city's 15 other coffee shops, making up an astonishing 75 per cent of their customers.
As far as the 16 shop owners are concerned, the $1.3 billion a year trade is a huge success. But for Maastricht, the drug tourists have brought nothing but trouble.
This month, the city will strike a blow at the very heart of Holland's liberal attitude to drugs by banning the sale of cannabis to foreigners.
The people and police of Maastricht have watched as crime rates have risen in the city in line with the numbers of foreign visitors. Of the 21,000 people charged with crimes last year, 4500 were foreigners.
A police spokesman said: "It cannot go on like it has been for several years now. We hope that the city's experiment will be successful because the problems here give us a huge workload.'
Maastricht Mayor Geerd Leers and the council decided to act just before Christmas, when they voted unanimously to change city laws so that only Dutch nationals can buy cannabis in its coffee shops.
In the next few weeks, shop owners will be arrested for selling the drug to a foreigner and prosecuted as a test case so issues can be examined by the Dutch legal system and the European Court of Justice."