Drug Law

No More Marijuana for Tourists in Amsterdam

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

If you like to travel to Amsterdam in order to smoke marijuana legally, you may want to book one final trip very soon -- pot will soon be banned for tourists.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, the Dutch government on Friday announced that by the end of the year, tourists will no longer be allowed to buy marijuana at Amsterdam's infamous "coffee shops," or even enter them.

The right wing government, which came into power last year, said it is making the move to fight crime and promote good health.

"In order to tackle the nuisance and criminality associated with coffee shops and drug trafficking, the open-door policy of coffee shops will end," Dutch health and justice ministers wrote in a letter to the country's parliament.

Critics say the ban could severely damage tourism to The Netherlands, particularly Amsterdam, home to 220 coffee shops, which themselves are big tourist attractions. They also fear it could lead to a black market for drugs.

The new rules will also make it difficult for locals to buy pot. Amsterdam residents would have to sign up at a coffee shop for a one-year membership, and each shop will have a maximum 1,500 members.