Maastricht marijuana is for locals only, rules EU
Saturday 17 July 2010
No drugs please, you're foreigners.
The Dutch city of Maastricht is within its legal rights to ban tourists from buying marijuana in its coffee shops, a senior EU official has ruled.
The advocate general of the European Court of Justice decided that the right to free trade and free movement within the European Union has its limits. It cannot be applied to illegal substances such as marijuana, Yves Bot ruled yesterday.
If the ruling is upheld by the European Court in the next few months, the decision will allow the Dutch city to maintain a five-year-old ban on cannabis sales to tourists from neighbouring countries. Other Dutch cities may then follow suit.
The Netherlands has tolerated small over-the-counter sales of marijuana through "coffee shops" for many years, even though the drug remains illegal.
Marc Josemans, chairman of the Association of Official Maastricht Coffee Shops, challenged the by-law in a Dutch court. The Dutch sought the opinion of the European Court.
Maastricht had a right, Mr Bot said, to regard the 20,000 foreigners a day visiting the town as a "genuine and sufficiently serious threat to public order". The by-law was therefore "necessary ... in the face of troubles caused by drug tourism" and also helped to "combat the illicit trade in narcotics in the EU".
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Orphan kangaroos spend Christmas without their parents
Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
New route to Mars could make manned mission much cheaper and easier
Isis 'did not shoot down Jordan war plane' before capturing pilot, says US
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...