News 15 February 2020

Amsterdam to ban tourists from buying weed

15 February 2020

The Mayor of Amsterdam wants to reduce the number of outlets selling cannabis and has added the results of the survey to a letter to councillors declaring her plan to investigate how they can minimise the appeal of tourist drug use.

Amsterdam is struggling to cope with the large number of visitors to the city centre to the extent that its attractions are no longer being promoted.

Femke Halsema, the Mayor of Amsterdam has revealed that a third of foreign tourists and nearly half of Britons would be less likely to visit the city again if they were barred from buying Cannabis in the coffee shops.

Halsema is trying to gain political backing for her cleanup of the overcrowded red light district. 

The survey by Amsterdam’s research, information and statistics office suggests that 34% of all those who visit the Singel area, which is where the red-light district is located, would come less often to the city if foreigners were not allowed to buy cannabis from the coffee shops, while 11% would never come again.

Of the British visitors surveyed, 42% said they would return to Amsterdam less often.

In her letter, the mayor said she wanted “a study this year to reduce the attraction of cannabis to tourists and the (local) regulation of the back door … A clear separation of markets between hard drugs and soft drugs has great urgency because of the hardening of the trade in hard drugs.”

In a bid to counter over-tourism and clean up and protect staff in the red light district, which is popular with noisy tourists, the city government has also declared a ban on guided tours through the red light district.

In more news, Eurostar have launched a direct service from Amsterdam to London.