Here’s why Amsterdam wants to restrict tourists from its marijuana shops – travel

In an effort to scrub up its picture, Amsterdam goals to limit a key vacationer attraction: its espresso retailers.

Solely Dutch residents can be allowed to enter the cannabis-dealing shops underneath a proposal by Mayor Femke Halsema. The plan, backed by native police and prosecutors, is aimed toward tackling the move of arduous medication and arranged crime linked to the marijuana commerce.

“The hashish market is simply too massive and overheated,” Halsema mentioned in emailed feedback. “I need to shrink the hashish market and make it manageable. The residence situation is far-reaching, however I see no various.”

Halsema submitted the plan to the Amsterdam council on Friday, kicking off a political debate, together with discussions over a transitional settlement with store house owners. She expects the coverage to enter drive subsequent yr on the earliest.

The initiative is the newest transfer by Amsterdam to actively scale back the move of tourists and enhance the standard of life for residents. Crowds have flocked to town since cheaper flights made its historic middle a well-liked weekend vacation spot.

Earlier than coronavirus lockdowns, its famend red-light district, marijuana retailers and picturesque canals attracted over 1 million guests a month — greater than its everlasting inhabitants.

“Espresso retailers, particularly within the middle, largely run on vacationers,” Halsema mentioned. “The rise in tourism has solely elevated demand” and attracted hard-drug criminality within the course of.

Whereas the tourism standstill from the pandemic has hit town’s funds, Amsterdam’s first feminine mayor is set to reshape the sector as soon as the disaster eases. Being shutout of the freewheeling marijuana commerce may flip off a lot of revelers.

A visit to a espresso store was a “crucial” purpose for 57% of international guests to the realm that features the red-light district, in line with analysis commissioned by town’s authorities.

Amsterdam is residence to 166 espresso retailers, and most wouldn’t be wanted if the plan had been in impact. Native hashish demand would help solely 68, in line with the federal government research.

Related restrictions have already been utilized in Maastricht and Den Bosch, which reacted to espresso retailers getting overloaded by guests from Germany, France and Belgium. The efforts are underpinned by a 2013 Dutch regulation aimed toward favoring the native hashish market and decreasing drug tourism.

Halsema says she expects help from the enterprise neighborhood, with many entrepreneurs within the metropolis middle not in favor of Amsterdam’s repute for unrestricted entry to intercourse and medicines.

“We could be an open, hospitable and tolerant metropolis, but additionally a metropolis that makes life troublesome for criminals and slows down mass tourism,” she mentioned.

(This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content. Solely the headline has been modified. )

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