Amsterdam houses one of the key attractions for its tourists to travel there and have some fun. But a proposed policy by its mayor Femke Halsema can lead to a ban that would ban foreigners from entering the city's coffee shops to purchase marijuana legally.
There are approximately 166 cannabis coffee shops in the famous canal-lined streets of Amsterdam. The production of the drug itself remains banned, but coffee shops are allowed to sell it. The policy discussed will only enable the Netherlands residents who possess a passport to access the cannabis dealing coffee shops. According to the SunUK recent research has suggested that about 58% of tourists that visit the city plan on consuming marijuana. The goal is to limit the city's flow of hard drugs and the crimes related to the link of the marijuana trade. The proposed idea has received backing from both the police and prosecutors.
In the letter sent to councilors on January 8, the mayor put the policy forward to allow residents to enter the cannabis coffee shops. The plan sparked a much-heated political debate that also includes agreements with the shop owners. Elected in 2018, the environmentalist mayor Femke Halsema has always been outspoken about the city's marijuana-related activities.
"The cannabis market is too big and overheated. I want to shrink the cannabis market and make it manageable. The residence condition is far-reaching, but I see no alternative." Femke Halsema spoke in her emails.
Although she did admit that the policy will take some time to get adjusted to for the coffee shop owners, she does believe it is a step in the right direction. In all honesty, her concerns are logical and valid to crack down on the drug crime trade. "The increase in tourism has increased the demand," the mayor said, which has attracted hard drug crimes in the city.
"Amsterdam is an international city, and we wish to attract tourists, but we would like them to come for its richness, its beauty, and its cultural institutions," Ms. Halsema told NOS.
She wants to reshape the city's image in its culture and not have it mainly be known for the attraction in coffee shops. The city is undoubtedly a beautiful place to visit all on its own, but these restrictions will most likely lead to a reduction in tourists.
"We need to change the international image of Amsterdam as the drug capital of the world, and if we do that, I believe we will draw a different crowd and make sure the city becomes more livable." -Femke Halsema.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the famous red-light district's notorious cannabis coffee shops attracted about 1 million tourists in a month. Now with the halt in tourism that has massively impacted the city's budget, the first female mayor is more motivated than ever to reshape the sector's image. So, this may very well be the end to the "Cannabis tourism" when the restrictions of the Coronavirus travel are lifted.
For more in cannabis news and trends, take a look at Jay-Z's cannabis product line 'MONOGRAM.'