UK & World News
U-Turn On Amsterdam Tourist Cannabis Ban
A new law that would have banned tourists from smoking cannabis in Amsterdam's notorious coffee shops has been scrapped.
The mayor of Amsterdam has rejected the legislation, which the incoming Dutch government has ruled will be up to local authorities to adopt - or not.
Eberhard van der Laan said enforcing the law in the city would only force pot smokers onto the streets.
He told the De Volkskrant newspaper that the city's tourists will not accept restrictions on the availability of cannabis.
"They will swarm all over the city looking for drugs. This would lead to more robberies, quarrels about fake drugs and no control of the quality of drugs on the market," he said. "Everything we have worked toward would be lost to misery."
Under the new rules, due to be fully introduced by January, the government will issue "weed passes" to those who want to smoke the drugs.
This would mean only Netherlands residents could buy cannabis openly. Foreigners, who flood to Amsterdam each year to buy and smoke drugs, would be banned from such consumption.
Some 1.5 million visitors are estimated to go to the Dutch capital, which relies heavily on tourism, every year to take advantage of its liberal approach to drugs.
The change in law has caused lengthy arguments between politicians, some of whom believe it will curb drug use in the country, and coffee shop owners, who fear it could seriously damage their business.
It was brought in by the previous conservative-led government but MPs in the new administration have decided to let individual cities make up their own minds.
There are currently around 750 coffee shops in the country, with around 220 of them in Amsterdam, mostly in the city's famous red light district where prostitution is also legal.
While cannabis trafficking is illegal in the Netherlands, people cannot be prosecuted for possession of small amounts and the drug is sold openly in designated cafes.
what do you think?
Glad to see reason has prevailed in the Dam. . Now just need to decriminalise it in the UK. Like Portugal and California
yes this would be a sensible thing to do!
suicide for them to ban it 75% of their tourism is based around cannabis and prostitution
The UK administration, should let us have our cafe shops here, in the UK, so people don't need 2 travel abroad,and the money would stay here in the UK,and we would create new Job opportunities! they don`t mind Legal highs,The Government needs 2 adjust 2 peoples new" old" way of Life,!!!
I stand with Plato on this one. It is more important that the law reflect morality than that it be effective. Good effort on the guy trying to ban it. Shame local guys lack idealism and vision of a better world where drugs are not tolerated.
Daily Mail reader?
What is so immoral about smoking a harmless herb? It's not something I personally choose to do, but I do not look down on those who do. In fact some of the 'pot heads' I know provide excellent conversation as their altered states allow them to think about things far more interesting than football, X-factor, and the other crap spewed out via the idiot box.
Believe me on this one, it is all a matter of self deception ! you get a bigger kick out of aniseed balls or a roll of Polo mints.
its like everthing else in this country the rich dont want the working class to have any pleasures. they raise the price of petrol so we cant get about. they raise the price of a pint so we cant socialise cannabis is just another pleasure they dont want people to have. i wonder how many of these hypocrites partake behind closed doors
It`s time you read up about the " Bilderburg Conference ", founder member : Dennis Healey ( Lab )
Oh! This reminds me. Just the other day, I was thinking, quite a lot of food has poppy seeds in it. Rolls, buns, bread, snacks. To be honest, I don't much about drugs or even plants or leaves. I did wonder, though, however heroin is made, which doesn't totally have nothing to do with this article but I was wondering, so far as I'm aware, people are not allowed to smoke anything like that. What I was thinking about was, what about all the people cooking those food items? Aren't they breathing in something similar if they are cooking poppy seeds? They are legally burning poppy seeds all day long but you aren't allowed to smoke, however the other substances are derived from it? I was wondering if there is a difference, chemically? Does it have the same effect on bakers, for instance?
d and d Phillips