” Cannabis tourist” may be coming to an end in Amsterdam if the environmentalist mayor Femke Halsema gets her wish to prohibit foreign travelers from the city’s coffee shops by the time coronavirus travel limitations are lifted.
It’s clear that the city’s first female mayor, in addition to many residents, just has had enough of “ the power of attraction of Amsterdam as a holiday resort for soft drug tourism,” as Halsema composed in a recent letter to her city board, consisted of in her new plan expected to be passed that would permit cannabis item sales just to Dutch nationals and homeowners of the Netherlands.
Before Covid-19 lockdowns, the euphemistically-called cafe, along with the prominent red-light district, attracted more than one million visitors a month– more than its permanent population.
An overall of 46 million people went to the Netherlands in 2019, with a lot of pertaining to Amsterdam and many buying and smoking cigarettes marijuana at the cannabis stores.
” The Dutch city, in an effort to crack down on growing numbers of low-budget “drug tourists” and organized criminal offense, prepares to forbid the sale of cannabis to foreigners in its renowned coffee bar,” composes The New York Times
This time, the public prosecutor and the police are supporting the mayor’s move.
There’s a drive in the city, understood for its liberal attitude concerning drugs and its red-light district, to manage the circulation of young travelers who show up with the single intent to smoke cannabis– and to undermine the criminal organizations behind the drug trade.
” We can be an open, hospitable and tolerant city, but also a city that makes life difficult for crooks and decreases mass tourism,” said Mayor Halsema.
The proposition follows the example of other cities in the south of the Netherlands consisting of Maastricht and Den Bosch, which saw their cafe getting strained by visitors from Germany, France and Belgium and, as an outcome, already have actually banned tourists from their cities’ coffeeshops.
Cannabis trade has actually ended up being “too huge and overheated,” the mayor has said repeatedly during her campaign to change the reality that Amsterdam, @visitholland, is mostly known as “a location of soft drugs tourist” and a haven for marijuana users all over the world.
Rather, she wishes to return the city to its worldwide renown as one of the most beautiful in the world with several other first-class tourist attractions.
The shops have actually been enabled to stay open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but consumers need to take their purchases outside.
A continuous and growing demand
The need for marijuana has kept growing year after year, in spite of main efforts to promote other tourist activities and to control the numbers of hotels and Airbnb leasings, with “cannabis tourists” being a problem especially around the city.
Amsterdam wishes to minimize the circulation of visitors and enhance the quality of life for homeowners. The excruciating masses of budget tourism have actually blown up for many years as cheaper flights made it a popular weekend destination.
” Amsterdam, like Barcelona and Venice, is having an increasingly difficult relationship with lots of such visitors amidst grievances that, among other things, they are flooding historical districts which short-term accommodation aimed at them is causing housing lacks for regional citizens,” reports The New York Times
According to research commissioned by the city government, for 57%of foreign visitors, a trip to a coffeehouse was a “extremely essential” reason for their arrival.
” Coffee bar, specifically in the center, mostly operated on tourists,” Halsema stated. “The increase in tourism has actually only increased need” and drew in hard-drug criminality while doing so.
More than sex and drugs
While the tourist collapse from the pandemic has actually hit the city’s budget, Amsterdam’s mayor is figured out to continue her campaign even if being shut out of the freewheeling marijuana trade could discourage a great deal of possible revelers.
“Amsterdam is a worldwide city and we want to invite tourists, however we would like travelers who come for the wealth of the city, for its appeal, for its cultural institutions,” Halsema told Dutch public television.
According to the Ministry of Public Health, the Netherlands has 570 coffeeshops– 166 of them (30%) in Amsterdam.
Because the 1970 s, the Dutch federal government has actually endured these facilities and Amsterdam in particular has promoted cannabis culture with other activities such as hosting the Cannabis Cup celebration for years.
Fighting arranged drug criminality
That ‘laissez reasonable’ attitude has actually allowed the coffee shops to become a key traveler destination with often-shady and powerful interests running behind the scenes.
The brand-new plan presented to the Amsterdam City Council recently is focused on tackling the circulation of hard drugs and organized criminal activity connected to the cannabis trade.
” I want to diminish the cannabis market and make it workable,” the mayor composed. “A far-reaching strategy, but I see no alternative.”
Of the 166 cafe accredited in Amsterdam, 68 would suffice to support regional need according to the brand-new plan, the main study suggests.
In a contradictory design, in spite of the legality of coffeeshops, the production of marijuana and its supply has constantly been prohibited in The Netherlands at the exact same time that ownership of less than 5 grams (0.18 ounces) was legalized in 1976 under a so-called “tolerance” policy.
Research studies have revealed that tourist would decline sharply if immigrants are prohibited from the coffee bar. For the mayor, figured out to reshape the sector once the crisis eases, it’s a reasonable price to pay for having actually been too tolerant in the past.