The new right wing government in the Netherlands is taking bold steps against the country’s famous marijuana-selling coffee shops. New measures will mean that these establishments will have to become members-only clubs, making them unable to deal the demon weed to the estimated two million “drug tourists” who visit Amsterdam alone each year. The new measure seems to be driven by an alliance between the god-bothering moralists in the CDA (a junior coalition partner) and the right-wing head-bangers in Geert Wilders’ so-called Freedom Party, who are providing support to the government. In pandering to these reactionaries, the liberals in the WD party (the coalition’s largest group) are basically turning their back on the Netherlands’ famous history of tolerance and embracing the same kind of failed drug policies that other European countries continue to pursue.
The latest Dutch experiment will be eagerly observed across Europe. There are reports that the Irish government has plans to follow the Dutch example. Public houses may soon be forced to become members-only establishments, as a way of stamping out the “beer tourism” that has long-bedevilled the country.