amsterdam’s green-left mayor, femke halsema, wants to ban tourists from buying weed. she said the city needs to something about crime, overtourism, and its image. the guardian said the response is mixed
forbes had some background: weed is technically illegal in the netherlands, but is decriminalized -- leaving amsterdam’s “coffeeshops” (weed shops) in a legal grey area. the country is working on a pilot project to fully legalize weed soon
the pandemic also played a role here, explained cnn. weed tourism took a nosedive, which left coffeeshop owners stressed. but many locals were thrilled at the empty streets and at having no belligerent tourists
halsema explained her proposal in a bloomberg interview: too many people come to amsterdam to take a “vacation from [their] morals” with drugs and prostitution, and that sucks. plus, we see ~22m visitors a year!
but amsterdam’s city council was not on board, reported dutchnews.nl. still, halsema could push her proposal through, bc the tourist weed ban is already national law, and amsterdam just has an exception. but her party won’t be happy
and deutsche welle said residents were on the fence -- they’re also sick of rowdy tourists, but aren’t convinced that banning them from coffeeshops will fix the problems
this atlantic sentinel op thought it was a bad idea. banning tourists from coffeeshops won’t stop weed use or crime -- tourists will just turn to street dealers instead
high times was also anti: this is just the latest in halsema’s long anti-weed crusade. amsterdam’s weed culture makes it an international example, and we should celebrate that. on the bright side, it’s never gonna work!
and coffeeshop owners told the ad that it’s unfair to blame tourists, or weed. locals can be just as bad, and alcohol is a much bigger problem than weed. amsterdam is a big, busy city -- it’s gonna be messy!
vice hit up an amsterdam coffeeshop and asked some toking tourists what they think of the ban. unsurprisingly, they were not in favor -- and were mixed on whether they’d still come to visit if there was a ban
forbes: instead of a outright ban, amsterdam introduced a “stay away” campaign in december. bars and brothels might be open less, and taxes on airbnbs might be higher
part of that campaign rolled out in february: the city banned smoking weed in the red light district, and closing times for restaurants and brothels will be earlier