Every year, millions of tourists flock to The Netherlands. This European country has so much to offer its visitors, but perhaps of the most distinct features are the coffee shops that dot the city of Amsterdam. We all know, however, that while the coffee may be good, there is another reason altogether for people wanting to visit the shops.
Cannabis. Weed. Marijuana. Call it what you wish, but the well known Dutch coffee shops are places where one can buy and use cannabis at will. This practice has been going on for many decades, but lately, the government has been cracking down on it.
Many coffee shops have closed, and the supply of cannabis has been restricted. Police are more vigilant, some say oppressive. The rationale behind the move is that tourists clog the city with the purpose of visiting the coffee shops. The crime rate and other activities related to drug use and sales have escalated, which is of course not a good thing.
Naturally, this move did not sit well with most everyone involved in the industry. In a surprising twist of events, however, it seems that there are some people in the Dutch government who want to retain some of these coffee shops. A leaked report shows that some officials want to continue allowing these coffee shops, but only on a “members only” policy. This means that members can procure up to 3 grams of weed each. The means of payment has to be a Dutch bank card. The idea is to discourage tourists who go there for the sole purpose of buying weed, while allowing the locals to enjoy what they have always enjoyed.
Do you think this will solve their problems?
Originally posted on September 13, 2009 @ 5:55 am