And… she’s back at it again.
Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema has responded to the request of several regional official with plans to steam onward with legislation to prohibit tourists access to Amsterdam coffeeshops. The proposal of these temporary measures comes in response to the “worrying interdependence” the mayor claims to have observed between the trade of soft drugs (cannabis) and the funding of the illicit hard drug market in the city of Amsterdam.
According to Halsema, “many of the major problems in the city are fueled by the cannabis market: from nuisance caused by drug tourism to serious crime and violence. Banning sales to tourists is a necessary intervention… and the first step towards regulation,”
As cannabis has an overall calming effect and an abundance of medicinal properties including aiding with addiction recovery, this is up for debate.
This as cannabis is becoming legalized at a fast pace and new recreational cannabis clubs are emerging worldwide.
Amsterdam is home to over 169 coffeeshops and hosts on average 20 million tourists annually, a number which continues to rise drastically as the number of coffeeshops in the city center dwindles.
According to Haslema’s January 2021 address, “recent years have shown that reducing the supply (by reducing the number of coffee shops and introducing a distance criterion) is not enough if the demand for soft drugs is not affected. With the growth of tourism, a smaller but still very significant number of coffee shops has seen an increase in sales and turnover. This means that inevitably the demand for cannabis must also be reduced. For the triangle, this means that the city’s appeal to tourists for whom a visit to the coffee shops is (very) important must be significantly reduced. The study by Breuer & Intraval cited above shows that the number of coffee shops required to serve the local market is limited to 68 in 2020 and 73 in 2025.”