Last year, I heard whispers about the Dutch government’s plans to ban foreigners from coffee shops, thereby restricting access to Dutch citizens with memberships known as “weed passes.” Months later, those dreadful snippets of hearsay turned out to be true. Fret not – the Dutch got bollocks. Café owners ain’t taking this lying down. Lawyers acting on their behalf are attempting to derail government policy before it takes full effect. And rightly so. Coffee shops were the number one reason I chose to visit Amsterdam. See, I just had to confirm whether all those fantastic rumours I’d been hearing were true. Tales of weed menus and prostitutes in display windows peaked my curiosity no end. Let’s just say my life was never quite the same after a trip to The Magic Mushroom Gallery…however, the coffee shops proved to be fantastic places where one could relax, unwind, and toke in peace without fear of harrasment by authorities. The level of professionalism and customer service was second to none. Needless to say, I was completely bowled over by the experience, not to mention the varieties of salad on the menu. ..
Holland’s civilized approach to psychoactives is light years ahead of many other countries, including North America. But now that forward thinking, gloriously liberal reputation is in danger of being greatly diminished. These restrictions will not improve health and safety, as the Dutch government claim. In fact, it may do the very opposite. According to Lucy Miller at http://news.nuggetry.com:
Many coffeeshops in Amsterdam rely on tourists to keep their businesses alive, and would likely have to shut their doors should the Weed Pass program take effect in the city. Studies completed in response to the introduction of the Weed Pass program indicate that it will lead to an increase of black market drug deals and an increase of crime, which is why the Netherlands’ drug tolerance policy was initially put into place in the 1970s.
So the Anti-Fun Brigade is not simply satisfied with screwing up responsible drug culture, it seems they’re hellbent on destroying the economy and pushing the Netherlands back into the Dark Ages. Much like a hare-brained idiot’s pistol going off under a pillow, this moronicism will ultimately come back to haunt them. How ironic then, that the Dutch government collapsed last weekend over failure to agree on a budget plan that would have introduced austerity measures.
History textbooks clearly demonstrate that escapism increases during times of recession, so it makes more sense to maintain safe outlets for peeps of every nationality to get high, not ban them. The Metro stated, “The move comes into force in the south of the country May 1 and is scheduled to roll out nationwide on Jan. 1, 2013.” That being said, there’s still time for the opposition to gain momentum and for sub-culture aficionados to experience the unique joys of coffee shops before exclusionist policies take hold. Looks like it’s high time for another visit to Amsterdam folks!
Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author