A coffeeshop owner in the southern Dutch city of Tilburg is furious because he won’t be prosecuted for selling soft drugs illegally.
He had hoped to elicit a test case to challenge a new law restricting cannabis sales. Under the new rules introduced on May 1, coffeeshops in the southern border provinces are only allowed to sell soft drugs to customers with membership cards, or so-called ‘weed passes’. Only Dutch residents are eligible for the cards. The law is aimed at deterring so-called ‘drugs tourists’ from neighbouring countries.
The Tilburg coffeeshop had deliberately failed to keep a list of members, and openly sold cannabis to foreigners this week. But a public prosecutor’s office spokesperson said that although the coffeeshops licensing conditions had been breached, no criminal offence had been committed. The case is to be dealt with at administrative level.
The coffeeshop’s lawyer says he is disappointed, because there was an agreement with the public prosecutor that the coffeeshop’s actions would result in a test case. “All the trouble of this exercise has been for nothing,” he said. “The public prosecutor’s office ought to keep its promises.”