UK & World News
Tourists Banned From Dutch Cannabis Cafes
Foreign tourists will be banned from entering cannabis cafes in Amsterdam after a ruling by a Dutch judge.
The judge upheld a new law to stop foreign visitors from entering Holland's famous coffee shops - meaning they could be banned by the end of the year.
Under the new law, Dutch residents will still be allowed into the cafes, as long as they have valid identification, or possibly hold a new "weed pass".
The restrictions come amid concerns that tourists are visiting the country solely for drugs and that foreign dealers are selling illegally back at home.
The ban is due to start in three southern provinces next month, and go nationwide by the end of the year.
The new regulation reins in one of the country's most cherished symbols of tolerance - its laissez-faire attitude toward soft drugs.
For many tourists visiting Amsterdam, smoking a cannabis joint in a canal-side coffee shop ranks high on their to-do lists.
Relaxing outside The Bulldog, a coffee shop in downtown Amsterdam, Gavin Harrison and Ian Leigh of Northern Ireland said they hoped the city wouldn't change.
"I think it's going to be a shame for Amsterdam, I think it's going to lose a lot of tourists," Mr Harrison said.
Mr Leigh said he had been visiting Amsterdam for a decade and had noticed the erosion of tolerance over the years. "It's taking a step back," he said.Coffee shop owners have not given up the fight.
A week ago they mustered a few hundred patrons for a "smoke-out" in downtown Amsterdam to protest the new restrictions.A lawyer for the owners, Maurice Veldman, said he would file an appeal against the ruling by The Hague District court.
The ban will turn coffee shops into private clubs with membership open only to Dutch residents and limited to 2,000 per shop.The Netherlands has more than 650 coffee shops, 214 of them in Amsterdam.
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what do you think?
it is about time they shut them down dont people realise what cannabis does to the brain it is the course of many marriage breakdowns and many criminal activity and then cannabis leads on to bigger drugs and every body knows where that goes
so is booze, so do we shut down every pub in britain?
i agree shut down every pub in england
The commonest reason for divorce is........MARRIAGE!
But does it affect one's ability to punctuate?! Had a spliff today, Eddie?!
walk through any city and you breathe in more poisons on your way to work than you would get from 2nd hand smoke from a spliff. your an idiot and you really need to get a life.
The Dutch need to think again over this one. The whole idea of a united Europe is to provide a level playing field for ALL Europes citizens, to ban non Dutch would be blatant discrimination. What next......No Irish, No blacks, No gays?
This will destroy the dutch tourist industry, no doubt.
Roger W. Patrick
Personally, I think it's all a storm in a puff of blue smoke!
Black market dealers will be rubbing their hands together.
Just to be clear........................... Is there anything else worth going to Amsterdam for??
Surely this level of discrimination can't be! It's madness and completely backwards. I can't imagine the BRITS getting away with something on this scale. Can you imagine, "No Foreigners Allowed" signs plastered over our cafes and shops?
Eddie its no where near as bad for you as alcohol,(please someone find the statistics for comparison) i'd really like to know how many deaths were from cannabis compared to alcohol deaths last year. yet we get booze thrust down our necks at every corner shop,pub or supermarket....
Dont forget the petrol stations as well! Mixing drink and driving?
How sad people are if all they go to Amsterdam for is to smoke drugs. Goodness me the 60s were ages ago.....grow up and move on, it isn't the end of the world.
Its got nothing to do with the 60's or smoking cannabis, its about the discrimination against others and the possible detrimental effect on the tourist industry!
You must be a dope (ha ha) if you think cannabis is something that was just convined to the 1960s!
I cant believe that the Dutch will be able to get away with this discrimination to people other than the natives! Oh, I forgot its only us Brits that follow the rules in the EC, not the rest!
THERE WILL ONLY BE THE GIRLS TO GO THERE FOR NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!
I suppose so, if you're desperate!
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it will hurt the economy over their at a guess 80% or more income comes from the coffeeshops and red light district, and on the red light district the dutch goverment are looking to shut that down too, the coffee shops will lose alot of business and in turn the goverment will lose money because the dutch will either grow it themselves at home or go too the coffee shop once a week and buy the supply they need for the week, the coffeeshops themselves will be empty 90% of the time and as said by someone else previously the black market dealers will look to cash in on the tourist ban and it will go underground more dealers in dark alleys and street corners if you dont get your weed when it goes underground you may well get mugged instead keep it tolerated and keep it safer for the buyer
Anyone walking past such a shop is going to breath all the smoke from the entrance to it. I expect a lot of people there just stand outside those shops. The entire atmosphere of Europe must be something like 0.001 per cent Dutch cafe cannabis smoke by now. The English channel must be full of cannabis, the fish must be. Where do those Dutch grow all those plants, anyway? ... They are allowing a Dutch person to make lots of money growing and selling cannabis plants? ... I wonder what the effect of American bombs all over Afghanistan poppy fields is? ... Huh? My comment will not be added until I remove ... an alternative word for ... smoke? ... Oh yeah? So, why's that???
who said "the 60's are over?" ....pot has been here since lord knows when...has been less than 100 years that it became illegal...may not be to everyones taste but....I don't smoke it...thought it was nice there was a legal place to go for people who did. I think there' will probably be some type of gov. permit for tourists... the gov has to make their dosh too.
so big a deal over so small a thing. cannabis has been around longer than mankind and at one point it was grown openly in the UK as it was used as an addative to make sacks we called it hemp. only during the age of aquarious did it become more renowned and sunonomous with vietnam war movies. the dutch will harm thier own selves if they ban tourists from what is in effect a part of thier heritage will show they are discriminative at worse and ignorant of what the people want but hasnt that become the perocative of all governments in recent years.
mind the aforementioned residents of N ireland dont get busted for posession on their return
I've met a few fellow M.S. patints from around the who like a smoke or a piece of cake in the coffee shops over the years, yet another nail in the coffin of freedom from pain
Correct me if im wrong......i have heard that you can get cannabis on prescription, i dont like drugs, never even smoked, call me simple, but can a naturaly grown plant be that dangerous? I know of blocks of who knows what, resin? Well that could be mixed with anything! So is it dangerous or what?