Amsterdam rejects ban on tourists buying cannabis

·2-min read
Amsterdam rejects ban on tourists buying cannabis
Amsterdam rejects ban on tourists buying cannabis

PA



Amsterdam's mayor has rejected a law banning tourists from buying and smoking weed in its notorious coffee shops.

According to Sky News, the mayor of Amsterdam rejected the legislation, which the incoming Dutch government has ruled will be up to local authorities to adopt or not.

Eberhard van der Laan said enforcing the law in the city would force pot smokers onto the streets and he told the De Volkskrant newspaper that tourists will not accept restrictions on the availability of marijuana.

'They will swarm all over the city looking for drugs,' he said. 'This would lead to more robberies, quarrels about fake drugs and no control of the quality of drugs on the market.

'Everything we have worked toward would be lost to misery.'

But according to Reuters, the mayor may be unable to deliver his promise of scrapping the ban, the Dutch justice ministry said on Friday.

van der Laan's decision has ruffled feathers in The Hague, the seat of Dutch government, and the spat will determine whether decades of Dutch drug tolerance continue.

The justice ministry said there was no guarantee the law would change to accommodate Amsterdam's concerns.

The new rules, due to be fully introduced in January, will see the Government issue 'weed passes' to those who want to smoke the drugs.

This would mean that only residents in the Netherlands could buy cannabis openly and tourists who flock to Amsterdam each year to buy and smoke drugs would be banned from such consumption.

There are currently around 750 coffee shops in the country, with around 220 in Amsterdam.

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