The imminent ban on foreign tourists using Dutch coffee shops, where the sale of cannabis is permitted, looks set to be disputed again. Only a couple of days ago a senior judge in The Hague upheld the rule which will limit access to the cafes to Dutch nationals only. The ban is due to be introduced in the southern states of Holland, around Maastricht, in the next few days, with exceptions given to Belgians and Germans with whom the Netherlands shares borders in the south. Elsewhere, the new law comes into force later in 2012 but cafe owners predict that their takings will drop signifcantly if tourists are no longer allowed entry in Amsterdam, as foreign visitors make up a major part of many brown cafes' clients.
Anti-discrimination laws are being cited, as the battle enters its next phase, as well as the potential difficulty of policing the new rules, with the spectre of cafe owners having to demand ID from every customer.