Updating the nrc s
Most municipalities have designated a certain zone (e.g.
around schools and high schools) where coffeeshops are not allowed, which may be from a hundred metres to several kilometres.
When confronted with the practical difficulties when he became mayor (and consequently head of police) he changed his mind and even became the best known advocate against the illegality at the back door, which takes up a disproportionate amount of time and money for the police, in tracking down (mostly indoor) plantations.
In 2008, the Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten (VNG, the organisation of Dutch municipalities) organised a wiettop ("weed summit", a wordplay on the flowery tops that cannabis is made of), attended by 33 Dutch mayors from both big and small municipalities and various political parties.
The idea of licensing the sale of cannabis was introduced in the 1970s for the explicit purpose of keeping hard and soft drugs separated.
In the Netherlands, 105 of the 443 municipalities have at least one coffeeshop.
This would also greatly decrease the demand at the backdoor.
At this wiettop, all mayors agreed that regulation of the 'backdoor' was desirable.The city council in Maastricht allows tourists to visit coffeeshops, but all except one have made a voluntary agreement to only allow locals, local residents being defined as anyone living within a 150km radius (local people from Belgium and Germany are still allowed).