Dutch border city seeks to end drug tourism

Maastricht’s high crime rate due to “drug tourists,” say city officials

Dutch border city Maastricht is pushing to make the legal use of recreational drugs a Dutch-only policy as they struggle to reduce traffic jams and a high crime rate. City officials say as many as two million “drug tourists” visit the city’s 13 “coffee shops” every year, where they can buy marijuana without fear of prosecution. The case is now making its way through the courts to see if the country’s security concern will override the European Union’s guarantee of a unified and unfettered market for goods and services. In July, the advocate general for the European Court of Justice, Yves Bot, issued a finding that the selling of drugs “does not benefit from the freedoms of movement guaranteed by European law.” Many residents of border towns in the Netherlands have also criticized Belgium, France and Germany for tolerating recreational drug use while banning the sale of drugs.

New York Times

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.