(Image Source: Flickr)

BY JUSTIN PROCHASKA

ANCHOR CHRISTIAN BRYANT


Amsterdam has long been known for its lax laws against soft drug use. But as Time magazine reports, those days could be over and tourists looking for a quick fix might need to find a new joint.

“While in the U.S. more and more states are eyeing legalizing marijuana, the Dutch government wants to turn coffee shops into members only clubs. Dutch members, that is.”

Why? MSNBC reports a new legislation banning tourists from so-called “cannabis cafes” is an attempt to keep tourists safe and weed out drug traffickers.

"The government says the plan cracks down on what it calls drug tourists who are drug couriers who are buying large amounts of drugs and taking them to other countries and selling it."

The legislation wouldn’t close these designated bars and cafes, but rather make them more exclusive. BBC reports Dutch residents would still be able to find a seat.

“Under the new law, Dutch residents will still be allowed into the cafes, as long as they have valid identification, or possibly hold a new "weed pass", which is also being debated.”

With the Dutch economy in a haze, some economists say the ban could cause even more problems. As The Week reports, coffee shop owners could take a massive financial hit by banning “cannabis tourists” from frequenting their cafés.

“Roughly a third of the four million foreign tourists who visit the city each year smoke marijuana in the local coffee shops. Ten percent of tourists who visit Holland do so exclusively for the pot. The cafes do $2.6 billion in business a year, generating $503 million in tax revenue."

Some Amsterdam bar owners say the government is just blowing smoke. In an interview with The Washington Post, one owner says Amsterdam isn’t prone to the criminal activities elsewhere because cafes are actually safer because they’re monitored establishments.

“We have tourists that just want to have a smoke. If they’re not going to get it, they will ask Dutch people who actually have a pass for the coffee shop to buy it. Or they will fall into the hands of the illegal street sellers.”

The legislation goes into effect in three of the Netherlands’ southern provinces on May 1.

Dutch Judge Upholds 'Pot Ban' For Tourists

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Apr 29, 2012

Dutch Judge Upholds 'Pot Ban' For Tourists

(Image Source: Flickr)

BY JUSTIN PROCHASKA

ANCHOR CHRISTIAN BRYANT


Amsterdam has long been known for its lax laws against soft drug use. But as Time magazine reports, those days could be over and tourists looking for a quick fix might need to find a new joint.

“While in the U.S. more and more states are eyeing legalizing marijuana, the Dutch government wants to turn coffee shops into members only clubs. Dutch members, that is.”

Why? MSNBC reports a new legislation banning tourists from so-called “cannabis cafes” is an attempt to keep tourists safe and weed out drug traffickers.

"The government says the plan cracks down on what it calls drug tourists who are drug couriers who are buying large amounts of drugs and taking them to other countries and selling it."

The legislation wouldn’t close these designated bars and cafes, but rather make them more exclusive. BBC reports Dutch residents would still be able to find a seat.

“Under the new law, Dutch residents will still be allowed into the cafes, as long as they have valid identification, or possibly hold a new "weed pass", which is also being debated.”

With the Dutch economy in a haze, some economists say the ban could cause even more problems. As The Week reports, coffee shop owners could take a massive financial hit by banning “cannabis tourists” from frequenting their cafés.

“Roughly a third of the four million foreign tourists who visit the city each year smoke marijuana in the local coffee shops. Ten percent of tourists who visit Holland do so exclusively for the pot. The cafes do $2.6 billion in business a year, generating $503 million in tax revenue."

Some Amsterdam bar owners say the government is just blowing smoke. In an interview with The Washington Post, one owner says Amsterdam isn’t prone to the criminal activities elsewhere because cafes are actually safer because they’re monitored establishments.

“We have tourists that just want to have a smoke. If they’re not going to get it, they will ask Dutch people who actually have a pass for the coffee shop to buy it. Or they will fall into the hands of the illegal street sellers.”

The legislation goes into effect in three of the Netherlands’ southern provinces on May 1.

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