Soon, coffeeshops in Amsterdam are not allowed to receive foreign customers any more. At least, these are the plans released by the Major, local police and public prosecution office. They only wan’t Dutch citizens to be allowed to enter a coffeeshop. This is to decrease the massive stream of “drug tourists” that visit the city.
Femke Halsema (Major of Amsterdam) said the plans won’t be fullfilled today or tomorrow and it could take up to a year before these laws become active. Earlier, the city council rejected these plans because they were afraid that the illegal cannabis market will increase big time. Halsema believes that the stream of tourists will decrease massively which means the illegal market won’t grow that much as Dutch citizens are still able to buy cannabis in coffeeshops. “These tourists mostly come to sit and smoke in our coffeeshops, why would they come if they aren’t allowed anymore”?
Shrinking amount of coffeeshops
Amsterdam is known for their coffeeshops that are found on every corner in the city (30% of the coffeeshops in The Netherlands are located in Amsterdam). However in the last 20 years the amount of shops shrinked massively. From the 283 coffeeshops that were in Amsterdam there are now only 166 left. Still the demand for cannabis grows every year due the large amount of cannabis-tourists in the city. “we’ve seen huge groups of young people coming to Amsterdam just to visit our coffeeshops” Halsema says.
Other type of tourists
Halsema hopes that, after the covid-crisis, Amsterdam will attract other type of tourists. “People that pay a visit to embrace and enjoy our culture and facilities, not just people that come here to get stoned and drunk”.