Tourists face permanent ban from Amsterdam’s cannabis cafes
“Cannabis tourism” may be coming to an end in Amsterdam.
The Dutch capital of Amsterdam may soon ban non-residents from its iconic cannabis coffee shops as part of its wide-ranging measures to combat organised crime and illicit drug trade.
Under a proposal by Mayor Femke Halsema – which is backed by local police and prosecutors – only Dutch residents would be allowed to enter the shops.
“Amsterdam is an international city and we wish to attract tourists, but we would like them to come for its richness, its beauty and its cultural institutions,” Ms Halsema told NOS.
“The problem is: there are just too many of them. The drug tourists are the reason for an increase in demand for marijuana.”
The business community, particularly in the city centre, has also backed Halsema.
However, there is some push back on the proposal from local residents.
The city’s 166 marijuana-selling cafes argue that if tourists are banned from regulated establishments, they will simply purchase the drugs from gangsters on the streets.
A survey, conducted by the Research, Information and Statistics Department, found 42 per cent would visit the city less frequently if tourists were banned from cannabis cafes.