Dutch Justice minister Ivo Opstelten announced that the controversial ‘weed pass’ is to be scrapped with immediate effect.
In a letter to parliament he also said it would be up to municipalities to determine and enforce the regulations governing coffeeshops in their area.
The so-called weed pass was introduced in the south of the Netherlands last May. It was initially designed to stop ‘drug tourists’ from Germany, Belgium and France from crossing the Dutch border to buy cannabis. Yet, the new regulations meant that coffeeshops in the region became closed clubs, admitting only Dutch residents who had to register for a special pass.
The mesure was due to take effect in the rest of the Netherlands at the beginning of 2013. However, the introduction of the pass saw an immediate increase in illegal street dealing and other drug-related problems in the southern province. As a result, the mayors of many Dutch cities have been urging the government to reconsider so that people will not have to register to buy cannabis.
Officially customers still have to show ID to prove they are Dutch citizens, but the authorities in large cities such as Amsterdam are not expected to enforce this rule.