If you walk around Amsterdam you will notice that it is bursting with tourists, maybe you are one yourself at that time. You will see people of all different kind of nationalities and some may come from very far away to see and enjoy our beautiful capital. Did you know that Amsterdam receives an average of around 19 million foreign guests every year?
At the beginning of January, the Amsterdam’s mayor, Femke Halsema, announced that she wants to end the so-called “drug tourism” in the city with a new policy. One of the most important ideas when it comes to the softdrugs policy changes. If it is up to the triangle (mayor Halsema, the chief of police and the chief public prosecutor) the coffee shops must close their doors to all tourists and the coffee shops would only be allowed to sell to Dutch customers.
Our beautiful capital has about 166 coffee shops, almost 30% of the total in the Netherlands, which focus on selling to tourists. The mayor states that she no longer wants this because budget tourists only come to Amsterdam to smoke, drink and hang around. According to the mayor, this deteriorates the quality of life in Amsterdam because it causes noise pollution. Therefore, she only wants to sell soft drugs to Dutch customers to decrease the unwanted visitors in the city center accompanied by a decrease in nuisance. This should also provide a better overview of the sale of soft drugs and would make it more verifiable for the Dutch police. If cannabis can only be sold to Dutch people, the number of coffee shops in the city center will drop drastically because there will be too much supply and too little demand.
This naturally creates a chance of more street trades with soft drugs. But Halsema indicates that this would also decrease due the lack of tourist. In recent years, the resort of tourist has caused a huge increase in the street trade, especially in fake dope. There has already been talked about a ‘weed pass’, it has not been introduced yet. It’s under further investigation and consideration is given to whether the new rule will actually be introduced, but the mayor indicates that this plan is ‘feasible’.
A survey was also conducted among tourists where 57% of tourists indicates that they considered the coffee shops to be an important factor when visiting Amsterdam. However, it is not the only reason people want to enjoy our beautiful city. Yes, coffee shops are a part of a real Amsterdam experience, but in addition to visiting our coffee shops, there is much more to do in this beautiful city. So, there is no reason to lump all tourists and say that this is the only reason for them to visit the city centre. That is not fair.
Amsterdam is a city with a rich history and has a lot to offer. The city has 165 canals where you can take a wonderful boat trip or go for a walk. You can also take a bike and take a tour of the city to get a real impression of the city. Take a look at all the beautiful houses along the canals, walk and cycle through the city parks or go shopping in the Kalverstraat. Amsterdam also has many different museums and galleries that are well worth a visit. There are also other activities to do such as consulting one of the many escape rooms in the city or going to one of the delicious restaurants to enjoy a nice lunch. So, visiting coffee shops is not the main reason, but of course you can always visit our coffee shop. You are always more than welcome to us. Let’s hope that Femke Halsema does not follow through with her plan!
For now, we are still open every day for take away from 07:00 till 20:00 and we can still welcome everyone. We hope that we see you soon in the biggest coffee shop of Europe!
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