In Amsterdam, Getting High at Coffee Shops May Soon Be for Locals Only

Tourists hoping to light up a joint in one of Amsterdam’s famed coffee shops after the coronavirus pandemic passes are likely to be disappointed. Soon, all coffee shops in the capital of the Netherlands may no longer be allowed to sell marijuana to foreign customers.

The mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, on Friday proposed a plan expected to be passed by the city that would only allow marijuana products to be sold to Dutch nationals and residents of the Netherlands. Ms. Halsema wants to stop the flow of young tourists visiting Amsterdam just to smoke marijuana and to undermine the criminal organizations that control the drug trade.

Policies in Amsterdam, known for its liberal attitude toward drugs and its red-light district, have over the years become more restrictive as the government attempts to regulate the ever-increasing numbers of budget tourists coming to the city.

Amsterdam, like Barcelona and Venice, is having an increasingly difficult relationship with many such visitors amid complaints that, among other things, they are inundating historic districts and that short-term accommodation aimed at them is causing housing shortages for local residents. [Read more at The New York Times]

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