Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Peoples’ Republic of Cheech and Chong

Not Getting your Bong Hits?

Then you need more Europe, not less Europe. That’s what it’s for, man.

Thousands of “drug tourists” sweep into this small, picturesque city in the southeastern part of the Netherlands every day — as many as two million a year, city officials say. Their sole purpose is to visit the city’s 13 “coffee shops,” where they can buy varieties of marijuana with names like Big Bud, Amnesia and Gold Palm without fear of prosecution.

It is an attraction Maastricht and other Dutch border cities would now gladly do without. Struggling to reduce traffic jams and a high crime rate, the city is pushing to make its legalized use of recreational drugs a Dutch-only policy, banning sales to foreigners who cross the border to indulge. But whether the European Union’s free trade laws will allow that is another matter.
If open borders means anything, it means no seeds and twigs
The case, now wending its way through the courts, is being closely watched by legal scholars as a test of whether the European Court of Justice will carve out an exception to trade rules — allowing one country’s security concerns to override the European Union’s guarantee of a unified and unfettered market for goods and services.

Buds being a “human rights” thing, the way everything is these days...:
In recent years, crime in Maastricht, a city of cobblestone lanes and medieval structures, has included a shootout on the highway, involving a Bulgarian assassin hired to kill a rival drug producer.
Mr. Leers used to call the possibility of banning sales to foreigners a long shot. But last month, Maastricht won an early round. The advocate general for the European Court of Justice, Yves Bot, issued a finding that “narcotics, including cannabis, are not goods like others and their sale does not benefit from the freedoms of movement guaranteed by European law.”

Mr. Leers called the ruling “very encouraging.” Coffee shop owners saw it differently.
“There is no way this will hold up,” said John Deckers, a spokesman for the Maastricht coffee shop owners’ association. “It is discrimination against other European Union citizens.”
So it’s ‘completely legal, taxed, and regulated’ and people still shoot each other over it. I though that fumez le shit was supposed to lead us into a healthy, child-friendly, crime free “promised land” where police resources aren’t wasted.

It’s not like they’re doing this for recreation or anything. It’s like “medical”, and goed with coffee and cheetos, and peanut butter, and... and... and y’know, they’re working on getting insurance to cover it.