AMSTERDAM Mayor Wants To Ban Tourists From The City’s Marijuana Coffee Shops from early in 2022
Femke Halsema, the Mayor of Amsterdam in The Netherlands, after consultation with prosecutors and police officials, has tabled a proposal that from early in 2022 will only allow Dutch residents to enter and use the city’s 166 marijuana-selling coffee shops.
The move is designed as part of a plan to clamp down on organised crime, and the ‘drugs tourism’ culture that Amsterdam has become famous for since The Netherlands de-criminalised marijuana smoking in 1976, in a ‘tolerance policy’.
You are allowed to possess under five grams (0.18 ounces) of the drug, and although the production of marijuana is still a criminal offence, the coffee shops are allowed to sell it.
Industry research has shown that 58 per cent of Amsterdam’s 20 million-a-year tourists, a destination made easier by budget airlines and online booking, come solely to smoke dope and that if only locals were allowed in then the number of coffee shops would drop to 70.
Some locals welcomed the news, Robbert Overmeer, of the BIZ Utrechtsestraat business association said to DutchNews, “The city doesn’t necessarily just want people with a lot of money. We say come to Amsterdam for the museums, the food, for love, or for friends, but not to skulk around, smoke dope and do drugs”.
But Joachim Helms of the coffee shop owners’ association BCD told Dutch ANP news agency, “Cannabis is a popular product that people enjoy worldwide. People want to smoke their joint. If that can’t happen in a coffee shop, then they will buy it on the street”.
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