Elisabeth Garber-Paul

The Good News for Pot Tourists in Amsterdam Is Less Clear Than Originally Thought

Fans of Amsterdam’s lax marijuana policy rejoiced last week when the city’s mayor, Eberhard van der Laan, announced that “coffeeshops”—establishments where adults can buy, smoke, and otherwise ingest marijuana—would remain open to the public in 2013. His statement, in the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, came after the new coalition government announced that they would be scrapping the plans for the controversial weedpass system. Set to go into effect across the nation on January 1, 2013, the program would restrict access to these marijuana-selling establishments to residents who registered with the local municipalities. The system, which had been planned and partially implemented by the previous, conservative government, had been introduced to three southern provinces earlier this year, to mixed results: while the number of German and Belgian “drug tourists” in those areas has gone down, street crime has gone up and marijuana has become more available to minors, two of the consequences anti-weedpass activists had warned against.

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5 Reasons Why Oregon's Weed Legalization Initiative Is the Most Radical on the November Ballots

This is the age of marijuana reform, but we’re still, realistically, a long way from legalization. Three states—Oregon, Washington and Colorado—are cruising ahead to an election with marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballots, and, depending on what happens, 2013 could be a lot more mellow.

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Holland Election Leaves Up in the Air the Question of "Weed Pass" and the Future of Dutch Coffee Shops for Tourists

If the center-left Labor Party PvdA had won, or the Socialists, who made pot legalization a centerpiece of their campaign, there would be no question about the future of the world-famous Dutch coffeeshops, at least in the short term, and their ability to serve pot to visitors to Holland. 

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