Coffee to go at coffeeshop bestfriends
10 januari 2021

Ban on ‘Coffeeshop’ tourism?

Tourists’ plans to enter Amsterdam’s famous “coffee shops” after the coronavirus pandemic may go up in smoke as the city’s mayor considered banning foreigners from entering the shops.

Mayor Femke Halsema said many of the ever-increasing-number of tourists in The Netherlands’ largest city were there simply to consume cannabis in the euphemistically named “coffeeshops” and had become a problem for locals.

“Amsterdam is an international city and we wish to attract tourists, but we would like them to come for its richness, its beauty and its cultural institutions,” said Halsema on Dutch public broadcaster NOS on Friday.

The public prosecutor and the police supported the move. We as free spirited ‘Amsterdammers’ are against it. We see the joy our products bring to our guests every day. We don’t feel or see ‘problems’ that are brought by the visitors of coffeeshops. They are nothing compared to, for example, visitors of bars. It’s the entire beauty of the city that draws our visitors. Prague doesn’t have coffeeshops right? Check out the growth over there.

The key to the solution lies in the legalisation of cannabis in The Netherlands. Decriminalise our beloved business and see what happens. Police wouldn’t have to chase the cannabis growers and everyone knows that using cannabis doesn’t fuel aggression or criminal behaviour. So who wouldn’t be happy?

Why is Amsterdam known for cannabis?

pass the joint

It is technically illegal to consume cannabis in our country, but possession of fewer than 5 grams (0.18 ounces) was decriminalized in 1976 under a so-called “tolerance” policy. In principle, only Dutch residents are allowed to purchase cannabis in so-called “coffee shops,” but there is an exception for shops in Amsterdam and other cities.

There are 570 shops across the country, according to the Health Ministry. Our beloved Amsterdam has about 166 shops, according to the city’s data. The shops have been allowed to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, but customers have to take their purchases outside.

Amsterdam has long been associated with cannabis culture, especially in its coffee shops
Amsterdam also hosted the Cannabis Cup festival for decades, celebrating cannabis culture. The city’s cannabis culture was also noted in some movies, including Cheech and Chong’s “Still Smokin'” and “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.”

In a letter to the city council, Halsema said she hopes to make Amsterdam less attractive as “a place of soft drugs tourism.” Some studies have shown that tourism would decline if foreigners were banned from the coffee shops. Others say it wouldn’t make a big difference. They say that mass tourism is based on growing wealth, easier ways to travel and internationalisation of the world. For example Prague has the same increase of tourist numbers, without coffeeshops. Berlin, Paris & Milan, the same.

We as real Amsterdammers speak of ‘Symbolic Politics’. It’s a shame so many can not see the fun our product brings to all our visitors.


AND ALSO: Wouldn’t it be nice if all the coffeeshops are smoked out of our city before the inevitable legalisation of cannabis, so Big Pharma can step in?

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Best Friends Amsterdam