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Mayor Wants To Decimate Amsterdam’s Cannabis Industry

Amsterdam mayor, Femke Halsema says she wants to “combat fun tourism” by reducing the demand for cannabis.

According to the mayor, a large proportion of what she calls “fun tourists” is attracted to prostitution in the city center and the “enormous amount of coffeeshops”. That is why she wants to see whether it is possible to make these markets “smaller and more manageable”.

This is what mayor Halsema told local news channel AT5 when asked about the municipality’s aims to keep tourists out of the city center.

After the corona crisis, the municipality doesn’t want ‘fun tourism’ to return to the city. The intention is that establishments and shops will again focus more on the residents of Amsterdam. The municipality wants to achieve this by, among other things, introducing new rules and purchasing buildings.

Halsema says that she is now focusing on the coffeeshops. She sees that there are no fewer than 120 shops in the city center, a large part of which live on tourism. “It doesn’t mean that we just close coffeeshops. But we do try to steer the demand.”

Earlier this year the mayor told the same news channel that she had plans for a large erotic center or a prostitution hotel as an alternative to the city’s Red Light District: A five-story building as the new erotic center of Amsterdam. Here patrons and tourists could not only visit sex workers but also make use of catering facilities, a hairdresser, a beauty salon, and a tanning salon. It would have space enough for about a hundred sex workers.

Although it’s well known by officials that most disturbances in the city center are the result of alcohol abuse, mayor Halsema did not mention the ‘Heineken Experience’, the beer funhouse (with ‘tasting facility’) on the edge of the city center, where tours of the brewery grew to become one of Amsterdam’s most popular international tourist attractions.

Mayor Of Rotterdam Speaks Out Against New Pot Policy

The mayor of Rotterdam has spoken out against the planned ‘wietpas’ policy, stating that the new system will lead to a rise in illegal drug dealing and make the streets less safe. Ahmed Aboutaleb says the wietpas is flawed and will create more problems than it solves. With this statement mayor Aboutaleb joins in skepticism with his counterparts in Amsterdam, Haarlem, Eindhoven, Breda, Maastricht and most other Dutch cities that allow coffeeshops within their borders; all of which have stated earlier that they do not see any merit in the planned new policy.

Mayor Aboutaleb told reporters that the wietpas would undo decades of investment and planning in developing communities; he encouraged the new government to scrap the planned policy. ‘It doesn’t work and it’s not going to work. It leads in practice to more problems in the community.’ Aboutaleb also pointed out that, “Very few people want to co-operate with the wietpas. They don’t want to register. I can understand why a lot of people are concerned, they wonder what their details will be used for. It’s logical.”

Amsterdam: “The coffeeshops should remain open for everyone”

The city of Amsterdam is not happy with intention of the new Dutch government to close coffeeshops for tourist and only allow cannabis sales to Dutch citizens who have a registration card.

Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan thinks that problems will arise if this new system would be introduced. Unlike the towns and small cities in the South of the Netherlands, Amsterdam has no problems with the millions of cannabis-loving tourists visiting every year. But the mayor is afraid that closing the coffeeshops nationwide would drive the trade underground. “It would turn the clock back 30 years when people bought their weed in the streets and there was no control on public safety or public health”, the mayor said.