It’s a sad day for stoners around the world who dream to step foot in Amsterdam because starting next year, tourists might get banned from buying cannabis from Amsterdam’s marijuana-friendly coffee shops.
According to The Guardian, the city’s mayor, Femke Halsema, has tabled proposals allowing only Dutch residents to enter its 166 coffee shops, with the measure likely to come into force sometime in 2022.
The potential banning of non-residents from these premises is part of the mayor’s wide-ranging plans to discourage organised crime and cut back on drugs tourism. Backed by police and prosecutors, it’s no secret that the city’s first female mayor, along with many locals, simply have had enough of the cannabis trade.
Deeming it “too big and overheated”, the mayor has repeatedly said during her campaign that she wants to change the fact that Amsterdam is mostly known as “a place of soft drugs tourism” and a haven for cannabis users around the world.
Instead, she wants to return the city to its status as one of the most beautiful cities in the world with other first-class attractions.
According to Forbes, studies have shown that tourism would decline sharply if foreigners are banned from coffee shops, but the mayor is determined to reshape the sector once the pandemic eases.
Before COVID-19 lockdowns, Amsterdam’s cannabis-available coffee shops, along with its renowned red-light district, attracted more than one million visitors a month. Back in 2019, a total of 46 million people visited the Netherlands, with most coming to Amsterdam to buy and smoke cannabis at marijuana-coffee shops.
Welp, guess there’s still Thailand – if recreational use ever gets passed in law.