Dope for Dutch only
The week's news at a glance.
The Dutch government is considering closing licensed hashish and marijuana shops in towns along its German border to all but Dutch citizens. Hordes of drug tourists visiting the towns each day have turned them into open-air drug markets where unlicensed dealers stalk the streets. The little town of Venlo, for example, has only 90,000 residents but gets up to 4,000 German visitors every daymany of them schoolchildren, and almost all of them seeking hash or marijuana. The Justice Ministry argues that limiting the shops to local residents will curb the cross-border traffic. Shop owners contend it wont stop the Germans, but will give the drug trade to the unlicensed dealers.