Dutch coffee shops will be closed to foreigners

Dutch coffee shops will be closed to foreigners
Coffee shops in Amsterdam may become inaccessible for the foreigners

Dutch authorities intend to deal with increasing number of narcotic tourists. According to CNN, the government intends to restrict access of foreigners to the world-famous coffee shops.

Under the new act, which is now undergoing the final stages of approval, coffee shops in Amsterdam and other cities will be available only for the Dutch. It will be converted into private clubs, which will be available only Dutch nationals, who are over 18 years. Club membership will be offered for one year. Each coffee shop will have a limited number of participants.

New rules for coffee shops got the name «Weeds pass».

Such drastic measures are taken in Holland to cope with the continued growth of narcotic tourism and also growth of illegal drug trafficking under in the coffee shops.

The Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands hopes to reduce the criminal level by these measures. To date near the borders with Belgium and Germany there are dozens of illegal groups, which organize marijuana trafficking in the EU.

Dutch authorities intend to introduce new rules in the southern part of the country already this year. Until 2012 new rules will be adopted in all coffee shops.

It is worth noting that new measures are not fully supported by the Dutch. One of the most ardent opponents of the «Weeds pass» today is the mayor of Amsterdam. And it is logical as the capital of the Netherlands will lose a substantial part of its budget, which Amsterdam fills at the expanse of "weed" amateurs from around the world. In this case the mayor insists on illegitimacy of the new law, because it discriminates against the rights of foreigners.

To date, according to the Chamber of Tourism of Amsterdam, one in five tourists coming to vacation in Holland visits coffee shops.

Ilya Kalachev

Date: 13/06/2011

Comments (1)



So, Holland has a commodity that attracts tourism, and now they're going to make that commodity unavailable to those tourists. Follow the money... There will still be trade, but it will be underground - not any different than anywhere else. If 20% of the tourists visit coffee shops, and can no longer partake then that's an economic loss that's hard to recover from - shops will close. Also, regarding passes for the locals, isn't this a method of control by the government? I suspect that those that register will be "marked," and a less tolerant government in the future might use that to their advantage. This whole thing is a bad idea - the country should either go back to criminalizing drugs, or accept that tourists are a necessary part of the economy, and that the idea of smoking marijuana without the fear of prosecution is an attractive incentive to go to Amsterdam, or any border town in Holland. Just get the tourists to spend money for other things while they're there, as well. I'm sure that people arriving in Amsterdam don't go straight to the coffeeshop, smoke a joint, then head back to where they came from. No, I imagine that tourist money is being spent: for lodging, food, and any number of other sites & services available in Amsterdam.