By: Buz Deliere | January 2, 2023
With the aim of curbing drug tourism, Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema has proposed a ban on cannabis sales to tourists in her city's iconic coffee shops. The move comes as part of the Dutch government’s ongoing efforts towards regulating these establishments.
On any given evening, the streets of Amsterdam's renowned De Wallen district are routinely overrun with eager tourists who have seemingly left their manners at home.
In Amsterdam's popular tourist district, chaos is reigning. Residents of the area have to deal with a variety of inappropriate behaviors -- from people vomiting and screaming in public places, even going so far as pooping or urinating on streets.
Exploring Amsterdam's Red Light district is a unique experience, drawing visitors for its many attractions - from sex shows to bar hopping, but the real highlight? Coffeeshops where legal cannabis has been sold to tourists and locals alike in an iconic part of town since the 80s!
In Amsterdam, coffeehouses have been blamed for creating a raucous atmosphere. But instead of banning cannabis altogether, the city is considering introducing an 'i-criterium' –a law aimed at restricting its sale and consumption to local residents only–to ensure that these establishments don't become unruly venues.
After a passionate petition with hundreds of supporters, an in-depth discussion at the city council, and strong support from the mayor and police chief, it appears this highly contested initiative has been denied once again. Widespread worries that passage would lead to a surge in illegal trafficking ultimately blocked its approval.
After decades of progressive cannabis policy, the Netherlands is now taking a significant step in reconsidering and revamping its relationship with cannabis. As more European countries embrace legalization, this renowned "coffee shop nation" faces uncertainty about what lies ahead for their famed industry.