By driving the soft drugs trade underground, the Dutch town of Maastricht has triggered a crime wave. PublicServiceEurope.com analyses the effects of the controversial 'weed pass' law
Maastricht - formerly a mecca for drug tourists from across western Europe - has called for police reinforcements to handle "aggressive" street pushers, who have taken over almost all trade in marijuana and cannabis since authorities introduced tighter controls on legal outlets. The Dutch town's Mayor Onno Hoes wants to double the number of dedicated police officers in order to control the black market, which has benefited from the region's draconian "weed pass" law.
The weed pass came into effect in Maastricht, a border town close to both Belgium and Germany, on May 1. It killed off an international trade that had thrived for decades.Forget the usual computer-generated - and universally publication-biased - modelling, this is real life experience, the very best evidence there is.
According to a series of articles in Limburger, a local newspaper, the illegal street trade has boomed since May 1. Drug dealers, some of them children and many of them from Eastern Europe and North Africa, now fight for control of the 120,000-population city. Eight of 17 local authorities that took part in a survey said they had witnessed an increase in drug-related problems since the weed pass came into force, the Limburger reported.Oh dear. And this merely through requiring residents to register as members of coffee shops to deter outsiders. Imagine the carnage had they plumped for full prohibition.
"Everything we predicted has come true," says Marc Josemans, head of the association of Maastricht coffee shop owners. "Some of the dealers on the street now are as young as 14, some are as old as 65," he tells this website. "They are making good profits". Maastricht has become a "ghost town" since May, says Josemans. "I will admit there are a lot more parking spaces available, but there have been a lot of negative side effects. There is no tourism anymore. We have committed economic suicide."Do you reckon states worldwide will gather together and hold huge conferences to discuss this devastating proof that their policies are incompetent and damaging to the public? You know, like they do when they are plotting to take our freedoms away?
Yeah, I know. Silly question.
Especially since the almost religious crusade against certain substances seems to turn state employees' brains to mush.
[Gertjan Bos, Hoes' spokesman said] "The weed pass has been a success as 1.5 million people who used to come from abroad are not coming anymore".This is 'success'? I thought it was those high on weed who were meant to be losing their minds.