Mayor of Amsterdam Threatens To Ban Tourists From Coffeeshops

Mayor of Amsterdam Threatens To Ban Tourists From Coffeeshops
High Times

Meghan Markle might want to trademark the word “archetype” for her own enrichment, but it just goes to show how universal some fights actually are. Not to mention how unoriginal the continual threats to one of the most enduring if not endearing symbols of Amsterdam continue to be. The latest salvo against the city’s coffeeshops comes (yet again) from the city’s mayor, Femke Halsema, who has just unveiled her latest plan to ban tourists from the city’s cannabis cafes, and further with a well-worn excuse. Namely, to “get a grip” on the local soft drugs market, and the outdated rant that cannabis is a gateway drug to other, harder drugs. It is a broken record—but sadly, one she insists on pursuing to the bitter end. Here is her reasoning: According to some city officials at least, “only” 66 of the current 166 licensed shops are “needed” to meet local demand—meaning that she really wants to close down 100 (or about 2/3) of them. Further, according to Halsema, banning cannatourists in Amsterdam is the “best way” to manage the country’s pending cannabis cultivation trial (which of course excludes coffee shops in Amsterdam and other large Dutch cities)—rather than trying to integrate them into it—which is also inevitable. However, the move is hardly surprising. Amsterdam’s officials have long tried to shut down the cannatrade against evidence that this unique aspect of Holland’s culture has not only become an enduring international symbol of the cannabis industry and reform but are beginning to be widely copied everywhere prohibition is finally receding. Apparently, these officials do not think that the attraction, which draws about 58% of tourists to the city, is one they want to continue to associate with Amsterdam. About 3 million tourists visit the city annually, specifically to partake in this unique experience.…

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