Thinking of coming to the Netherlands post-lockdown for smoking some grass? We might have some really bad news for you.
Amsterdam’s mayor Femke Halsema will follow through with a plan to ban foreign tourists from coffee shops. 😱
She hopes to combat “drug nuisance” in Amsterdam with support from the chief of police and Public Prosecution Service, says RTL Nieuws.
A letter to the city council
The administrative “trifecta” says a lot of major problems in the city come from the cannabis market, including minor nuisances to crime and violence. 🚨
They want to introduce a “resident criterion” — which means foreign tourists will not be allowed to enter coffeeshops. ❌
Mayor Halsema initially launched this plan in January 2021 but following some investigations and discussions with the cannabis industry, she wants to follow through with this plan. 🍃
Resident criterion causes a stir
The resident criterion in particular led to some discussion. Some opponents say this restriction could lead to more illegal trade on the street.
The trifecta disagrees, saying a ban on selling weed to tourists is a necessary step towards slowing down and regulating the market.
The problems with the street trade are already noticeable in the city centre. Dealers hang out on the streets, harass visitors, and sometimes act aggressively, particularly in the Red Light District.
Quality marks and street dealing
Mayor Halsema wants to reduce and regulate the cannabis market by introducing quality marks that coffee shops must meet. Shops that follow extra rules with business operations, information, and transparency can receive such a quality mark. ✅
She also wants to handle street dealers more severely by taking their “day proceeds away” and giving restraining orders. Dealers will also be brought in front of judges much faster.
In the works
Although this might seem extreme for Amsterdam, the trifecta won’t go through this without some resistance.
The mayor will likely clash with the progressive parties including D66, GroenLinks, Bij1, and DENK, which oppose the introduction of this criterion, Het Parool reports.
The PvdA (Labour Party) offers some room for the mayor — the party is only in favour if the municipality guarantees the enforcement against street trade. Other parties including the VVD, CDA, and JA21 support the criteria.
In the meantime, the new city council must discuss the trifecta’s proposal before making a final decision.
What do you think of the implementation of this new tourist ban in coffee shops? Tell us in the comments!