Amsterdam Mayor Mulls Ban on Coffee Shops Selling Cannabis

The mayor of Amsterdam, Flemke Halsema proposed to ban tourists from visiting cannabis cafes after years of “unruly behavior” by visitors to the Dutch capital.

Halsema informed municipal councilors in Amsterdam that the soft and hard drug trades have a “worrying interdependence,” and that “Money from the lucrative cannabis trade easily finds its way into hard drugs.”

Halsema proposed that only Dutch residents should be permitted to enter the 166 cannabis-selling cafés so that tourists can focus on other tourist attractions and come to Amsterdam for the proper reasons.

“We would like them to come for its richness, its beauty and its cultural institution. The problem is: there are just too many of them. The drug tourists are the reason for an increase in demand for marijuana,” Halsema said.

The issue had been previously discussed by Halsema, which lead to the first proposal in February 2020, despite the fact that one-third of tourists would cease visiting the country as a result, according to a commissioned report.

“Many of the city’s problems stem from the cannabis market: from nuisance caused by drug tourism to crime and violence.” said a tweet from Amsterdam.

Three million international tourists visit an Amsterdam coffee shop every year, where the only section of the country where the residents-only regulation does not apply.

Halsema also started a new anti-street-dealing program that includes warning signs, heightened camera surveillance, and the deployment of “hosts” to alert tourists of the dangers in the city center and red-light district.

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