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

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

Solely Dutch residents could be allowed to enter the cannabis-dealing shops below a proposal by Mayor Femke Halsema. The plan, backed by native police and prosecutors, is geared toward tackling the circulate of laborious medication and arranged crime linked to the marijuana commerce.

“The hashish market is just too huge and overheated,” Halsema stated in emailed feedback. “I need to shrink the hashish market and make it manageable. The residence situation is far-reaching, however I see no different.”

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

The initiative is the most recent transfer by Amsterdam to actively scale back the circulate of holiday makers and enhance the standard of life for residents. Crowds have flocked to the town since cheaper flights made its historic heart a well-liked weekend vacation spot.

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

“Espresso outlets, particularly within the heart, largely run on vacationers,” Halsema stated. “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 the town’s finances, 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 “essential” purpose for 57% of international guests to the world that features the red-light district, in keeping with analysis commissioned by the town’s authorities.

Amsterdam is dwelling to 166 espresso outlets, and most wouldn’t be wanted if the plan had been in impact. Native hashish demand would help solely 68, in keeping with the federal government examine.

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

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

“We will be an open, hospitable and tolerant metropolis, but in addition a metropolis that makes life troublesome for criminals and slows down mass tourism,” she stated.

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

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