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  • Amsterdam To Bar Tourists From Buying Marijuana

The city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands will soon ban foreigners and tourists from purchasing cannabis products in an attempt to quell overcrowding in the city’s red-light district. Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema has also called tours to watch prostitutes pose in windows in the red-light district “disrespectful” and included them in the ban to begin on April 1st, 2020.

 

Amsterdam has been struggling to handle the large quantities of visitors to the city to the point where its attractions and destinations are no longer being promoted. To gain the support of residents, Mayor Halsema included survey results that show that a sizable amount of travelers wouldn’t visit the city if cannabis sales weren’t available to them. 

 

The study indicates that approximately 42% of Britons and 34% of tourists would not choose to visit the Singel area if marijuana was not obtainable in local coffee shops. Moreover, roughly 11% of travelers said they would never visit Amsterdam again if cannabis was prohibited. In the red-light district of Amsterdam, prostitution is also legal and tours of the sex worker zone have long been accessible.

 

 

Deputy mayor for economic affairs, Victor Everhardst, said tours in the red-light distrcit have been outlawed because they were “disrespectful to treat sex workers as a tourist attraction,” and that tours must now “adhere to new, stricter rules to prevent disruption for residents and businesses,” such as securing a permit to operate.

 

Amsterdam is home to 1.1 million residents and the city attracts over 17 million yearly visitors, many of whom look to experience the city’s gedoogbeleid, or “policy of tolerance,” towards marijuana. 

 

“For British visitors, coffee shops by far are the most frequently mentioned main reason to come to Amsterdam (33%),” said the research, information and statistics office. “They cite walking or cycling through the city less often as the main reason (21%) than the average (32%) and, on the contrary, more often indicate that a cheap trip was the main reason (11% compared with 6% on average).”

 

Research also expressed that 40% of respondents said they would no longer use “hashish or weed” on their visits to the country, 22% said they would have someone else go to the coffee shop for them and 18% said they would search for another way to purchase cannabis.

 

One hundred Singel area visitors aged 18 and 35 years were surveyed. The majority (57%) said they considered coffee shops with marijuana products as an important role in their decision to come to Amsterdam.

 

Image result for amsterdam red light district marijuana

(Red Light District Amsterdam Tours)

 

Though possession and use of cannabis is allowed in the Netherlands, there is a catch-22 in that production and harvest of the plant is not permitted, forcing a multitude of coffee shops to acquire their product from “back door” criminal operations.

 

In a letter, the Mayor Halsema said that she wants “a study this year to reduce the attraction of cannabis to tourists and the (local) regulation of the back door … A clear separation of markets between hard drugs and soft drugs has great urgency because of the hardening of the trade in hard drugs.”

 

According to a city-commissioned report entitled The Other Side of Amersterdam, “Amsterdam has given free rein...to a motley crew of drugs criminals, a ring of hustlers and parasites, middle-men and extortionists, of dubious notaries and real estate agent.”

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Amsterdam To Bar Tourists From Buying Marijuana
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