The Rise and Fall of “Coffee Shops”: New Laws to Eradicate Marijuana Production in Holland

Successive conservative governments have ratcheted up the pressure against cannabis production, which is intensifying criminal activity while reducing marijuana quality. The ultimate goal: to reduce production to a minimum and for Holland to cease from being a destination for cannabis tourism.

Twenty years Holland was a paragon of progressivism in Europe, a place that welcomed any advance involving cannabis with open arms, a paradise dotted with “coffee shops” and tourists who found there a haven for marijuana consumption. 

This scenario has changed considerably. A series of conservative governments has gradually whittled away the legal framework governing "coffee shops", passing legislation that has closed a good number of them, and limiting per-customer marijuana purchases, including proposals to even create a special pass for the Dutch and bar tourists from entering. The goal is to reduce supply as far as possible.

The change has been so dramatic that on 11 November...

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