Drugs and drug houses

The municipality of Maastricht closes drug houses:  buildings that are used for drug production or trafficking. The mayor is allowed to close drug houses under the Opium Act. The Damoclesbeleid Lokalen en Woningen elaborates on how the mayor acts against illegal drug activity. 

Closure of a drug house

A building cannot be occupied or used during a closure. The duration of the closure can vary between 3, 6 and 12 months, depending on the situation and the type of drugs. We will put a poster on the window of the drug house to inform the neighbourhood about the closure.

Temporary closure of the building stops its illegal drug trade and traffic to and from the property. It allows the building to disappear from the drug circuit. The municipality of Maastricht is committed to building a safer city by keeping crime out of its neighbourhoods.  


Drug houses can evolve into a neighbourhood nuisance, by causing noise, for instance. Production and trafficking of drugs also pose several dangers.

  • Fire hazards...
    ...caused by electricity theft, improper use of gas cylinders, short circuits or leakage.
  • Health hazards...
    ...caused by harmful fumes, water leakage and mold.
  • Safety hazards…
    …caused by criminal activities. Drug production and trafficking often go hand in hand with violence, threats and extortion.

How to recognise a drug house

General signs
  • Suspicious people entering and leaving the property at unusual hours.
  • Delivery vans or other vehicles frequently coming and going from the property.
  • Security cameras in and around the building.
  • Covered or blacked out windows.
Marihuana grow house
  • The smell of marihuana (a slightly sweet, “skunky” smell).
  • Noise of extraction systems (a humming or buzzing sound).
  • Perpetually illuminated rooms.
  • Heat emission and condensation on windows.
  • Vent pipes on the roof.
Synthetic drug lab 
  • A slightly sweet, artificial smell (comparable to anise).
  • Noise of extraction systems (a humming or buzzing sound).
  • Blue barrels or plastic containers in and around the building.
  • Suspicious materials being carried into the building, such as laboratory glassware, centrifuges or gas cylinders.
  • White smoke coming out of the air vent.

Report suspected drug activity

Report to the municipality

Your awareness is of immense help to the municipality of Maastricht. Have you witnessed drug activity? Or do you suspect a building is being used for drug production or trafficking? Let us know. It allows us to get a better picture of the nuisance and act more effectively.

There are several ways to report suspected drug activity (anonymously) to the municipality.

Report to the police or Meld Misdaad Anoniem 

You can also report suspected drug activity to the police by calling 0900-8844 (no emergencies).

Do you want to stay anonymous? Report a crime anonymously to Meld Misdaad Anoniem. Call 0800-7000 (free of charge) or visit www.meldmisdaadanoniem.nl.


Try to describe the following elements when reporting suspected drug activity.

  • Who: Describe the person causing the nuisance. Think of physical features or peculiarities. Are any cars or scooters involved? What are the license plate numbers?
  • What: What is causing the nuisance?
  • Where: Addresses, names of shops or cafés or other descriptions of the surroundings.
  • When: Date and time. Does it happen frequently, around the same time? Is there a pattern?
  • How: Does the course of action show a pattern?