Amsterdam, “Coffee shops forbidden to foreign tourists” – Corriere.it

The city hall of Amsterdam intends to ban foreign tourists from entering coffee shops, one of the symbols of the libertarian culture of the Dutch capital. Too much crime, too many crimes related to the consumption and sale of soft drugs (authorized in coffee shops) led the mayor Femke Halsema to present the proposal to the city council. If the plan passes, starting from 2022 only Dutch citizens with passports will have free access to hashish and marijuana stores. The mayor, two years ago, had presented a project to move red light venues out of the historic center, another myth that attracts crowds of tourists to Amsterdam every year.

“Making the market manageable”

What convinced the administration of the capital to tighten up on coffee shops was the increasing degradation in the heart of the city, which instead would like to focus on a tourist offer oriented towards art and culture, eliminating the overcrowding around the points of sale of cannabis and derivatives. «The cannabis market is too large and overheated – said Halsema – and I want to restrict it to make it manageable. The residency requirement is far-reaching but I see no alternative. ” For the economy it would be a major blow: a survey by the same city hall shows that a third of tourists see the possibility of freely buying and consuming drugs as the reason for coming to Amsterdam.

400 million to the tax authorities

Joachim Helms, spokesman for the owners of coffee shops, however, warns: “The squeeze will only encourage the activity of street drug dealers.” An investigation by Dutch TV KRO had, on the other hand, estimated tax revenues at 400 million euros guaranteed by the legal trade in soft drugs while a report from the Global drug policy program (from 2013) states that the Netherlands, thanks to the legalization introduced in 1976, is among the last places in the world for crimes related to drug use (just 19 per 100,000 inhabitants against 269 in the USA). currently there are fewer than 200 coffee shops in Amsterdam, about a third of those in the whole country.

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January 24, 2021 (change January 24, 2021 | 14:13)

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