Netherlands Will No Longer Sell Cannabis to Tourists

By Miriam Krule

Amsterdam has long been a destination for tourists looking for a fix. Unlike in most countries where the sale of cannabis is illegal, the Dutch are famous for allowing the drug to be sold in their coffee shops. Yet, in an effort to decrease drug tourism, the Dutch government announced Friday that it will be restricting the sale to citizens.

In an effort to reduce criminal behavior and tourism as a result of the drug policy, the Dutch government on Friday decided to introduce a membership system for coffee shops. The city of Amsterdam, where most tourists go, is against the decision.

The new system will require members of coffee shops to be a citizen of the Netherlands and over the age of 18. "The coalition agreement says that the current open door policy of coffee shops should be stopped and that the fight against organized drug crime should be intensified," the Dutch cabinet said in a statement.

The new laws will require coffee shops to become closed clubs for the local market, meaning that only Dutch citizens will be allowed access if they are able to show a valid ID and have a membership of the coffee shop in question.

In addition, coffee shops will not be allowed within 1,100 feet of schools in an effort to stop students from visiting them.

Read the full story at Wire Update.

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http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/05/netherlands-will-no-longer-sell-cannabis-to-tourists/239601/