Banning Foreigners from Amsterdam Coffe Shops Called ‘Tourism Suicide’
Holland’s New Drug Laws Will Ban Cannabis-Selling Coffee Shops From Catering to Visitors
If you always were planning a trip to see the Van Gogh Museum and thought you might stop by one of those Amsterdam Coffee Shops that sell both exotic coffee and marijuana who may want to book your flight.
By the end of the year customers will have to sign up for a one-year membership, or “dope pass”, to enter the shops and many of the 220 coffee shops in Amsterdam have already planned their closings. There are a total of 750 shops throughout the Netherlands and the move could cost the country millions of dollars a year in lost revenue.
Each coffee shop will be able to have 1500 registered customers who are to be made up of residents who apply first.
Dutch health and justice ministers say that the law ‘ will put an end to the nuisance and criminality associated with coffee shops and drugs trafficking’.
Holland decriminalised “soft” drugs in the 1970′s and the coffee shops were seen as a then useful weapon in controlling both illicet drug use but also a way to contain street sales and crime. New claims are that the coffee shops cater to ‘drug tourists’ that start trouble. A spokesman for the mayor of Maastrich, Holland said “They block streets in the city centre, they don’t respect parking rules, they are noisy and, when they go from one coffee shop to another, they urinate and vomit in the street.
Those claims are denied by shop owners. “If this law comes into effect, we will lose money and jobs,” said Marc Josemans, owner of the Easy Going cafe.
Last year, 1.4 million tourists visited the city of Maastricht alone. Foreigners accounted for 70 per cent or sales, worth about $13.6 million in revenue. In many municipalities of Holland prostitution is legal.
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