Netherlands coffee shop case highlights 'paradox' of cannabis laws

The president of the court in Den Bosch said the story of Checkpoint cafe highlighted the absurdity of the law in the Netherlands
The Guardian (UK)
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

With 3,000 customers a day, a restaurant, ample parking and turnover of €26m (£23m) a year, Checkpoint cafe, the largest cannabis-selling coffee shop in the Netherlands, was a fabulous commercial success. That was until it was closed down in 2009 for testing to the limits what the Dutch describe as their gedoogbeleid (tolerance policy), under which prosecutors turn a blind eye to the breaking of certain laws, including in the business of selling cannabis. An appeals court ruled that the cafe’s owner, Meddie Willemsen, was guilty of running a criminal enterprise, but said he will not face any punishment.