MJ Shops in Dutch City To Demand Fingerprints

MJ Shops in Dutch City To Demand Fingerprints
Posted by CN Staff on May 30, 2007 at 08:09:58 PT
By The Associated Press 
Source: International Herald-Tribune
Amsterdam, Netherlands -- Coffee shops licensed to sell marijuana in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht will begin fingerprinting customers and scanning their IDs this summer, a spokesman for the shops said Wednesday.The measures are aimed at ensuring the rules of the Netherlands famed tolerance policy are not violated, which could lead to shops being closed, said Marc Josemans, chairman of the Union of Maastricht's Coffee Shops.
"This is not something that we are doing willingly, but with pain in our hearts," Josemans told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday. He said shops in Rotterdam and several Dutch border cities were considering following suit."We're very afraid we're going to lose customers over this, and to be honest we're even a little ashamed we're doing it, but the City of Maastricht has such harsh punishments that we don't feel we have any choice," he said.Marijuana is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but cities may license shops to sell no more than 5 grams (less than a quarter ounce) per customer per day. The shops may not sell to anyone under 18, nor permit drugs other than marijuana or hashish on the premises.Since Maastricht Mayor Gerd Leers took office in 2002, police have strictly enforced the rules, and shops found in violation are automatically closed for a minimum of three months for a single infraction, six months for a second offense, and permanently for a third.As a result, 11 of Maastricht's 26 licensed shops have been closed, leaving just 15 open.Josemans, who is also owner of the "Easy Going" coffee shop, said the electronic system would be tested at his store Aug. 1 and used by all licensed stores by September.Fingerprints would be coupled with a digital photograph and a scan of customers' ID cards  removing all personal information except date of birth  and then stored on a computer system at the shop.When a customer wants to buy weed, he will have to prove that he or she is of age, and has not already purchased the 5-gram limit that day at the same store."We're not going to give this information to anybody else, and we're not linked to each other or the Internet," Josemans said.He said the shops already had video surveillance cameras and cooperated with police in criminal investigations, but the stored fingerprints would be too low in quality for use by police.Because of Maastricht's location near the border with Belgium and Germany and not far from France, the city receives 4.5 million "drugs tourists" per year who come just to buy weed and then drive home again.City spokesman Math Wijnands said the drug trade brought a host of problems with it, most notably petty criminals who seek to sell marijuana or other drugs in the neighborhood of the licensed coffee shops."They know that they have a target group here, but they go about their business in an aggressive manner," Wijnands said. "That causes problems in the city center."The city is currently negotiating to move more than half of the remaining shops to the outskirts of town  angering neighboring countries like Belgium who object to what amount to marijuana drive-through stores on their doorsteps.Wijnands confirmed that the city was aware of the plan by the shops to store customer data, and approved."If they're going to take ID checks into their own hands and obey the rules as much as possible, then that's only to be applauded," he said.Josemans said the system had been vetted with the Netherlands' digital privacy watchdog, known by its Dutch acronym CBP, and did not violate any laws. A CBP spokeswoman could not immediately confirm that.Complete Title: Marijuana Shops in Dutch City of Maastricht To Demand Fingerprints from Customers Source: International Herald-Tribune (International)Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2007Copyright: 2007 International Herald Tribune Contact: letters iht.comWebsite: Articles:Dutch Conservatives Crack Down on Coffee Shops Cafes Get Nudge To Fringes of a City Cannabis Policy Challenged
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Comment #15 posted by afterburner on May 30, 2007 at 22:45:28 PT
WTH?: First Response
Zandor makes a good point: "No tourist in their right mine [mind?] would allow finger printing to buy weed."The PTBs must think we're a lot dumber than we really are!Just how many of our federal tax dollars were wasted to re-brand Ed Rosenthal as a convicted felon? For shame!On a lighter note:CN BC: Marc Emery Gets Some Breathing Room, Metro, (28 May 2007)
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Comment #14 posted by museman on May 30, 2007 at 13:18:20 PT
plug into the logic sequence
"Once a criminal, always a criminal. Once a drug user, always a drug user."ONCE A POLITICIAN, ALWAYS A POLITICIAN.
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Comment #13 posted by rchandar on May 30, 2007 at 13:07:40 PT:
Sam Adams
It isn't just that--it's that it potentially would follow you wherever you'd travel. If you were to say hop on the plane to Mexico, South Africa, China, etc. etc. Say you want to take your wife on a big vacation and see all the sights. Or you're someone who wants to do research in a foreign country. If this system is misused (and we have no control over it, of course), then in all these countries you're already a drug criminal when you enter. That's not fair, and it isn't fair (at least now) pursuant to international law. International law to this date respects the country's self-right to judge visitors and tourist according to their laws--meaning, you are not a drug criminal unless you commit a drug crime in their country. That's being usurped, changed, and one can imagine the kinds of headaches it will produce.That being said, BGreen's right. Such a measure will NEVER pass in Amsterdam, for example. Most of us are actually not in too much danger from the USG or the DEA since their powers in this matter are still discretionary rather than absolute. An ID scheme itself isn't impossible to implement. The fingerprinting part is what's really exceptional--psychologically, there's no way a client can interpret this as anything other than as being a criminal. The measure will produce anxiety and fear amongst otherwise peaceful tourists. In the US, there's already in place a system that profiles and possesses many injustices when it comes to law enforcement. The travel to other countries part is extremely unfair and undemocratic--it's like saying wherever you go in the world, Big Brother has determined who you are and can flag you before you've thought about your rights--as an American citizen. People who'd never be flagged before would instantly be flagged. That's totally unfair because your travels to, say, Malaysia, or Taiwan--are not necessarily in the pursuit of or trafficking in drugs. It sweepingly restates the USG's basic philosophy, the one they export the most to others. Once a criminal, always a criminal. Once a drug user, always a drug user.--rchandar
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Comment #12 posted by DjLoTi on May 30, 2007 at 12:55:07 PT
Love your comment. :) Give us the 411...And have a great time. :-) Lucky you.... :-P
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Comment #11 posted by DjLoTi on May 30, 2007 at 12:53:15 PT
Guys, this makes sense. I've been to Amsterdam.
I could take a train from Amsterdam to Paris, go from coffee shop to coffee shop, buy like a pound of herb, and take a train back to ParisWhy? Because Europe is not like America. They don't have drug dogs on the trains. They don't have unwarranted searches. They don't have crazy border patrolMakes sense if 4.5 million drug tourists come in. They're trying to figure out who is doing all the business. If it keeps it down to 5 grams, that's not enough to sell to make enough profit to pay for the train fee. Or enough to make any decent profit and smoke some for yourself.
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Comment #10 posted by Sam Adams on May 30, 2007 at 12:31:35 PT
The techo-state is already upon us.  I used to say, no way the government can afford to track everyone, I'm not worried about my phone calls & emails.Then I found out that the NSC has 38,000 employees! And that's only one branch of the security state. I would say there is an excellent chance that if your email mentions any keywords that it is read and put into your file. All phone calls are now monitored as well, if you say "Bush" or "cannabis" there is a good chance that your call is immediatly shunted to a person to listen, or filed away. They can easily get your credit card purchases, atm uses. We saw that the telecom corporations readily handed over records without saying a word. If they get your cell phone information they can easily see a record of your movements.And all this is just the beginning. Bandwidth, CPU speed, and storage capacity will continue to increase until there is no limit on the amount of information that can crunched. It is a certainty that within a decade or two it will be cheap and easy for the government to store the entire content of every single phone call and email you ever make, plus the location of your cell phone, plus your purchases, toll transponder movements, all indexed and instantly searchable. How about instant face-scanning techology to find out where a person is at any time, based on security cameras. Also could be stored forever.The government has the power to take 50% of our money and spend it without anyone knowing where it goes. What do you think they're going to do? If I was Dick Cheney I'd do all of the above and more. Look at the satellite technology nowadays.Technology presents frightening ways to oppress and control people - unprecedented in human history. I just saw an article saying that 40% of babies are watching TV by 3 months, and 90% are watching over 90 minutes of TV per day by age 2. This is despite a direct warning from the American Academy of Pedriatrics that no child under 2 should be in the same room with a TV on at all! It permanently causes your brain to be wired differently. There are studies showing that this TV exposure causes lower intelligence, obesity, increased bullying and violence, and ADD. Strange, I barely hear anyone talking about that! Our children. The future of the human race. Broken. 
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Comment #9 posted by E_Johnson on May 30, 2007 at 12:05:44 PT
So how do they prevent underage drinking?
Do they have any system in place at all? Does anyone know?This is one reality-challenged world. 
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Comment #8 posted by museman on May 30, 2007 at 11:44:50 PT
what year is this again?
1984 came and went, but Orwellian fascism just came and stayed.
Along with DoubleThink, DoubleSpeak, and BIG BROTHER.Rome didn't die, it just became a fascist religion. Hitler's spirit lived on, our 'scientists' accepting all the nazi 'research' as viable, and the SS tactics of the Gestapo were easily incoprporated into our intelligence agencies.The fifth Reich is upon us, and the former Nazi family BUSHCE sits on the American throne. 
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Comment #7 posted by dongenero on May 30, 2007 at 11:33:21 PT
comment #1
Great point Sam.It sure makes that entire scenario very distasteful. I would think that people in that region of Europe would be quite sensitive to the parallels.How long before all mankind is bar coded? Not that I'm a glass half empty kind of guy but, if people do not pay attention, they'll wake up one day wondering how they didn't see it coming. Heck, we're 90% of the way there for most westerners as it is.
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Comment #6 posted by BGreen on May 30, 2007 at 11:20:19 PT
Do we get to choose which finger we give them?
Nobody needs to get their panties in a wad over this. The situation in Maastricht is very different than in Amsterdam, and this entire fingerprint scheme is due to the complaints from Belgium, France and Germany about their citizens hopping over the border just to buy cannabis to take back home.Yes, the idiocy of the USA has infiltrated some of the most sane countries (one needs only to look at how f'd up Canada has become,) and the Netherlands is controlled at this time by another lap dog to our commander in chimp, but for the most part the Dutch are pragmatic and tend to think, which is something that most Americans have given up doing.I'll be going there in a few weeks so I'll give y'all the four one one from those in the canna-business.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #5 posted by tintala on May 30, 2007 at 11:02:24 PT:
It does have an upside
I think it has an upside, our fierce WAR ON DRUGS here in the USA
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Comment #4 posted by Zandor on May 30, 2007 at 10:57:22 PT
Well then?
Is this the end to the Cannabis Cup then?No tourist in their right mine would allow finger printing to buy weed. Electronic finger prints that would match up to an id would be vary viable for the police to use. I don't trust them when they say "the stored fingerprints would be too low in quality for use by police." That is totally BS if it can match up in their system; then with just a little work it would match up to the police system if they want to.They also say "We're not going to give this information to anybody else, and we're not linked to each other or the Internet," Josemans said.They say that now but give them a year and the gov will make them provide the information to each other and the police....mostly the American DEA. You just watch!!I bet there will be a point if this contuses that once America gets their hands on that information they would not let us back in the States anymore.So much for that Vacation we were saving up for.I am not going anywhere close to a system like that. It shows me that they just don't welcome us to their country anymore. Shame on them!!
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on May 30, 2007 at 10:14:25 PT
Good point rchandar
We know what will happen if the US gets a hold of the information - none of the cannabis buyers will ever be able to travel into the US again.
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Comment #2 posted by rchandar on May 30, 2007 at 10:09:26 PT:
This is definitely not good. The main reason I say this is that many people from foreign countries are only occasional or "tourist" (meaning, it's allowed here so I'll try it) smokers and this measure potentially identifies them in their home countries and anywhere they travel as drug criminals. Think about it folks, it's not fair, it's bad. I don't think they'll institute such a sweepingly totalitarian measure like this in Amsterdam; the city council will not go for it, but I'd advise anyone concerned about their identity and their citizenship/professional status to avoid Maastricht and any city that requires this if possible. There will always be places in the Netherlands where this kind of measure won't be instituted, and if that really changes we simply will have to demand law changes in other countries, otherwise countries will institute such measures under the guise of "international law enforcement." It's not acceptable. Again, there are many places in Holland that won't do this. Go to those places and make sure you aren't being identified as a criminal.--rchandar
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on May 30, 2007 at 08:59:04 PT
Deja Vu
Interesting, it was also the Germans who forced the Dutch to make their Jewish people begin wearing the yellow star, in prelude to rounding them up & killing them all.Of course the only reason "petty criminals" are on the streets selling more cannabis is because buyers can get only 5 grams in the store. What do they think would happen if Dutch liquor stores only allowed people to buy 1 six pack?  New "Criminals" would soon arise to sell it by the case.
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