Amsterdam to Keep Pulling in Millions of Foreign Soft-Drug Users as Dutch Ditch Controversial ‘Weed Pass’ Law
Dutch cities are to decide themselves whether to bar foreign drug tourists from so-called coffee-shops, after the government scrapped its unpopular ‘weed pass’ law.
The move will allow Amsterdam to keep pulling in millions of foreign soft-drug users, while allowing border towns to clamp down on crime related to drug tourism.
‘The best way of seeing which measures are effective is at local level,’ Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten said in a letter sent to parliament late Monday.
‘We are abandoning the ‘cannabis card’,’ he added.
The Dutch government announced a year ago that it was introducing a law to ban foreigners from entering dope-dealing ‘coffee-shops’, also forcing local smokers to show identification and register in a database.
Called the ‘cannabis card’ law, it rolled out in May in three southern Dutch provinces that attract many Belgian, French and German drug tourists.
The move was aimed at curbing drug-related phenomena like late-night revelry, traffic jams and dealing in hard drugs.
But its critics said it simply pushed drug peddling onto the streets of southern cities like Maastricht and Tilburg and led to a rise in crime.
Coffee-shop owners in the south were pleased that tourists could now at least buy drugs somewhere, but lamented the fact that their own establishments remained off-limits.
We will be in Amsterdam next week for a 24-hour layover on our way to Israel. I am planning to visit the Anne Frank Museum, but I know which tourist attraction Zedushka prefers.