The Hague banning public consumption of cannabis in many of its most popular areas is the latest event in the Netherlands becoming a less weed friendly destination or place to call home.
In 2012, the country tried enforcing what came to be known as “The Weed Pass” where only residents could purchase and use cannabis. It’s basically fallen by the wayside at this point, but the original sentiment is still spreading. This latest move by The Hague may be sparking inspiration in other cities.
According to The Guardian, a spokesperson for the mayor of The Hague said that the move came after a series of complaints from local residents about the strong smell of cannabis and the noise its users were making.
The new rules will be enforced by local police, with the first two weeks having warnings issued and then subsequently fines will be given out. The window may seem small, but it was also little consolation for lost privileges and revenues for the city.
Amsterdam has already put restrictions in place itself, banning use near schools and playgrounds and starting to pare down the number of infamous coffee shops in its region. Amsterdam has long been a destination for traveling cannabis lovers, but it increasingly goes down the list as more countries expand their marijuana policies and beautiful hotspots like Ibiza, Spain become more likely to be frequented by cannabis tourists.
In The Hague, their own coffee shops plus shelters and hotels are being given flyers about the new bans to spread awareness and to slow public consumption in the designated areas at the very start of the already begun two week grace period.
Fortune reported that The Hague is now the first Dutch city to have banned pubic usage in its city center, malls and train stations. Though some municipalities had already made similar moves, it remains to be seen how many more cities will be emboldened by this new move on The Hague’s part.
The Netherlands had long been considered a testing ground for what could be with the legalization of soft drugs like cannabis and magic mushrooms. While it continues to be a sort of mecca in that respect, perhaps its new rules could signal rule changes that could affect the world stage regarding weed, though, just like the variances from state to state in the U.S., other countries who are legalizing cannabis seem to be doing it in their own ways.