The Mayor of Amsterdam is reportedly planning on banning foreigners from the city’s cannabis cafes in a bid to tackle organised crime and drug tourism.
Mayor Femke Halsema has put forward proposals which would only allow Dutch residents to enter the 166 marijuana-selling coffee shops in Amsterdam, according to The Guardian.
It has also been reported the measure could come into force as soon as next year.
“Amsterdam is an international city and we wish to attract tourists – but for its richness, its beauty and its cultural institutions,” Mayor Halsema said, adding that the city has too many links to organised crime.
The proposed plan comes after research recently revealed 58% of tourists who visit Amsterdam mainly go because it is legal to consume cannabis.
While the Mayor believes banning foreigners from cannabis cafes will lead to less crime, Joachim Helms of the coffee shop owners’ association BCD believes the measure could result in an increase in street drugs.
Speaking to the Dutch ANP news agency, he said:”Cannabis is a popular product that people enjoy worldwide.
“People want to smoke their joint. If that can’t happen in a coffee shop, then they will buy it on the street.”