Netherlands’ coffee shop confusion
Pot tourist ban doesn’t go off as smoothly as planned
Published: February 1, 2012
The war against marijuana users and the cannabis culture is particularly absurd because there's no social harm that's ever been proved to result from viping beyond the possible inducements to race-mixing and guilt-free sexual activity that are proscribed by the orthodox religious order.
Here in Holland, the long-term tolerance of the cannabis culture has both created an atmosphere that attracts weed-smoking pilgrims to make up a significant portion of the local tourist economy and fostered a full-scale cannabis industry that generates billions of euros worth of business within the intimate confines of this tiny nation.
Accordingly, every knowledgeable person I have consulted about the issue continues to scoff at the notion that the state can transform the coffee shop culture by means of the pending legislation.
My friend and mentor Michael Veling, proprietor of the 420 Café and a life-long cannabis activist in Amsterdam, remains convinced that the year-long moratorium now in effect will no doubt end in a further extension of the truce rather than a victory for the suppressive forces.
"There is no way they are going to be able to demonstrate in the courts that 'drug tourism' constitutes a 'public nuisance' or a 'threat to public order,'" Veling told me, adding that Justice Minister Opstelten, a Liberal Party member, will have to report back to the CDA representatives — who started this shit thinking they could finally win the battle — that he tried everything but it proved impossible to enforce their mandate and things will have to continue as before.
At any rate, Veling stressed, would-be drug tourists from America and elsewhere will definitely be welcome in the coffee shops of Holland for at least the entire present year. C'mon over, he said, we appreciate your business.
Jan. 26-27, 2012
> Email John Sinclair