Sign for the Amsterdam Museum of Hash Marijuana.
Soon, foreign tourists will no longer be able to buy marijuana in Dutch coffee shops. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/KlausNahr/Fotopedia)

Amsterdam attracts more than 3.5 million foreign tourists per year, many of whom are drawn to the coffee shop culture and promise of being able to easily and legally obtain marijuana. However, the coffee shop cannabis trade will soon come to an end, reports the Los Angeles Times. The Dutch government plans to stop drug tourism by forcing coffee shops to become private clubs that only sell to Dutch citizens that show proof of identification.

Banning sale of pot to foreigners ‘tourism suicide,’ say critics

Long known for its liberal policies on marijuana sale and use, The Netherlands has proven to be a popular travel destination for the young and curious. Once “soft drugs” were decriminalized in The Netherlands in the 1970s, coffee shops like Mellow Yellow began to pop up to help suppress the black market cannabis trade. Currently, there are about 750 coffee shops in the country, 220 of which are located in the red light districts of Amsterdam, the capital city.

According to the Daily Mail, the new Dutch law will limit each coffee shop to 1,500 members and require members to sign up for one-year “dope passes” if they wish to continue receiving marijuana.

The outcry from critics has been deafening, as it is anticipated that the anti-tourist marijuana law will cost The Netherlands millions of pounds annually in lost revenue. Moreover, there is concern that the law will push the drug trade underground again, as Dutch residents will likely take to selling marijuana to tourists at inflated rates.

Dutch authorities want to stop sale of illegal drugs

While the marijuana trade at Dutch coffee shops has been legal for some time, the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice recognize that marijuana isn’t the only drug changing hands. By instituting the new law, which is backed by the far-right party of anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders, authorities hope to curtail the sale of illegal “hard drugs,” including GHB.

In a public statement, the ministry addressed the concern over lost revenue:

“We attract other types of tourists apart from drugs tourists.”

Anti-foreign marijuana law in place by year’s end

Currently, Dutch border towns like Maastricht and Terneuzen already restrict the sale of marijuana. By the end of the year, the new policy will go into effect for the southern provinces of Limburg, Noord Brabant and Zeeland. Next year, the ban will blanket all of The Netherlands.

Coffee shop culture in Amsterdam (Warning: Adult language, drug references)

Sources

Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-1392364/Holland-bans-foreigners-cannabis-coffee-shops.html

Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice: http://bit.ly/l5SJNs

Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-trb-dutch-coffeeshops-drugs-20110601,0,588802.story

Reuters: http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE74Q66A20110527

Post By bryanh (1,420 Posts)

Connect

Do you have a fantastic idea related to this article, but just don't have the money you need to start your own company or side-business? Get the loans you need from https://personalmoneynetwork.com to help get your new company underway, from the small loan professionals at PersonalMoneyNetwork.

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a northern California utility, has agreed to pay $70 million to the California town of San Bruno for a pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010. Company says it’s remorseful The San Francisco-based power company’s president, Chris Johns, released a statement Monday, saying PG&E is sorry and eager to […]

Judge stabbed and deputy shot in Washington courthouse

Grays Harbor County Courthouse

Following a standoff in a Washington state county courtroom Friday, a man reportedly escaped after shooting a sheriff’s deputy in the shoulder and stabbing a judge in the neck. The man is still at large. Treachery among the tree farms The incident occurred Friday afternoon in the western Washington town of Montesano, which bills itself […]

Microraptor was one flashy little dinosaur

Microraptor fossil

A team of Chinese and American scientists have found that Microraptor, a small four winged dinosaur that went extinct about 130 million years ago, was likely black and almost certainly had glossy, iridescent feathers. Until now, the coloring of extinct creatures was a matter of pure speculation. That may no longer be the case. The […]

Autocorrected message leads to school lockdown

Homage to the Sun

Adjacent schools in Georgia were locked down for two hours Wednesday after a text message reportedly warned of a “gunman” on campus. Later, it was learned that the message was the result of a smartphone autocorrect function, attempting to “fix” the misspelled slang word “gunna.” A series of mixups A series of mixups led to […]