Amsterdam might ban foreigners from buying cannabis at coffee shops

2020-02-18 11:45 - Marisa Crous
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There are so many sides to Amsterdam: Vonderpark, Leidseplein, cycling through the city, and not even to mention all the spectacular art museums. 

Yet, one of the main attractions for a vast amount of tourists (particularly British tourists) is the allure of the Red Light District. Sex and drug tourism bring in a lot of foreigners to this area every year who hope to get a peek at this interesting little word the Dutch have cultivated in the very heart of this vibrant city. 

The Wallen and Singel area is particularly known for the women who sell sex in the red fluorescent windows, while the streets are scattered with coffee shops selling cannabis products and experiences. 

READ: Tourists getting ripped off with tulip bulbs in Amsterdam 

But Amsterdam's gedoogbeleid, or 'policy of tolerance' towards cannabis might soon become more rigid, says The Guardian. Mayor, Femke Halsema recently proposed banning foreign tourists from buying cannabis in the Red Light District, due to an ever-increasing overtourism problem in this area of the city.

She added that cannabis has become one of the city's biggest drawcards for tourists - so much so that most other attractions in the city is no longer being promoted. 

The Guardian reports that the survey by Amsterdam’s research, information and statistics office suggests that up to 34% of visitors to the city would reconsider travelling to the Dam if, in fact, they couldn't buy cannabis from the coffee shops, while 11% said they wouldn't return. The ages of people surveyed were between 18 and 35, which means this is largely a millennial clientele. 

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Along with the mayor's proposal to ban tourists from buying cannabis in coffee shops, stricter rules might come into play across the board. She also suggests bringing in various measures to ensure local residents aren't disrupted by tourists anymore, by imposing fines.

However, despite these possible changes and clean-up attempts, we are sure tourists would always find a way around it - like asking a local to buy weed on behalf of them.  

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