Tourists face Amsterdam cafe cannabis ban

Non-residents could be banned from Amsterdam’s cannabis cafes as the city attempts to tackle organised crime and cut back on drug tourism.

Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema has tabled a proposal to only allow Dutch residents to enter the city’s 166 marijuana-selling coffee shops.

The reforms, which would come into force in 2022, already have the backing of the police and lawyers.

Inside an Amsterdam cannabis cafe. Credit: Shutterstock

According to Netherlands government research, 58 per cent of foreign tourists who come to Amsterdam visit mainly to consume cannabis.

“Amsterdam is an international city and we wish to attract tourists – but for its richness, its beauty and its cultural institutions,” Halsema told the Guardian UK.

Possession of less than 5g of cannabis was decriminalised in The Netherlands in 1976. Production remains illegal, but coffee shops are permitted to sell the drug.

The new proposal will be sent for public consultation. Similar bans have already been enacted in Maastricht and Den Bosch.

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