This is gonna cost them them in tourism dollars for sure….
But I’m sure OTHER countries are happy….
The new law, drafted by the center-right government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, officially came into effect on Jan. 1. It demands that the approximately 700 coffee shops in the country, where the sale of small amounts of soft drugs is tolerated, turn into members-only clubs, allowing only Dutch residents 18 and older and over to apply for membership.
“The ‘open door’ policy currently pursued by coffee shops will come to an end,” Mr. Rutte said in a statement. “The objective is to combat the nuisance and crime associated with coffee shops and the trade in drugs.”
The lax approach to drugs in the Netherlands has irritated its European neighbors for some time.
Officially, the possession and sale of cannabis is illegal in the Netherlands too, but under the so-called gedoogbeleid (policy of tolerance), owning a maximum amount of five grams for personal use is not prosecuted. Under that same policy, coffee shops are allowed to stash a maximum of 500 grams at any given time and sell that in amounts of up to 5 grams.
The practice led to a flourishing of coffee shops as drug outlets and a tourist industry depending on them. An estimated third of all visitors to urban centers like Amsterdam and Maastricht are believed to be looking not just for museums full of Dutch masters or a boat ride on a canal but also for pot, according to the Amsterdam City Council.Share on Facebook