Amsterdam Coffee Shop Ban Lifted

Coffee shop weed menu Source:

Coffee shop weed menu

I know this is old news to some of you, but trust me, I’ve been eager to post this one for a while. Apparently, good sense has prevailed over bad taste regarding the coffee shop tourist ban. Last year, Amsterdam’s former right-wing government implemented changes effectively restricting non-Dutch nationals from entering coffee shops. Under the new policy, each shop was limited to 2,000 members who would have been required to have a Weed Pass. Having visited Amsterdam and thoroughly enjoyed the coffee shop culture there, naturally I was concerned. To that end, I wrote an article about this last April. These changes were expected to take effect in the rest of the Netherlands come January 1st 2013. Thankfully, the new Dutch government has realized just how devastating these draconian laws would be not only to Amsterdam’s economy, but to the rights and freedoms of its citizens. According to the December 12th 2012 edition of Amsterdam Coffee Shop News:

The mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan confirmed in his letter that a certificate of residence issued by city municipality will not be required to enter the coffee shops in Amsterdam.
The mayor underlined that while one third of six to eight million tourists arriving to Amsterdam each year visits the coffee shops, these visitors do not create any disturbance in the life of the city, while limitations on sale of the cannabis to foreigners might create illegal street trade and be a cause for growth of criminality. At the same time, a strict ban on smoking marijuana in schools and schoolyards has been reaffirmed by the Mayor set to take effect on January 1, 2013.

So refreshing to know there are peeps in power who can see past the ridiculous fear-mongering propaganda the previous government was trying to pass off as legitimate “cause for concern. ”

As for the much reviled Weed Pass:

Coffee shops club ID card abolished
The new Dutch center-left coalition government is clearly more lenient in its policy on coffee shops than the previous center-right coalition. Coffee shops club ID card (Dutch: wietpas) introduced in 2012 in the border provinces of the Netherlands, has been as of November 19, 2012 abolished. There were serious civil rights objections on collecting data who and where is smoking marijuana. The existing cofee shop club members data was destroyed. Now a standard residence certificate issued by the municipality, which is in common use in many bureaucratic situations together with personal ID are enough to purchase the cannabis in the coffee shops in border areas of the country.

As for Amsterdam, we do not expect any restriction imposed coming months on access for tourists visiting the city to its 214 coffee shops.

Let’s just say I’m due for another visit.  Amen to that!


Copyright © 2013 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.


6 responses »

  1. I wanted to mention that while Amsterdam is still open to tourists- the residency requirement varies city to city. Mastrich where I have good friends, as well as many towns and cities close to the borders DO require one to be a dutch citizen.

    And of course- Holland is still a weird mish-mash of laws. Grows and importation are still illegal. And coffee shops, even in Amsterdam, are still heavily legally limited on much cannabis they can have on premises. Forcing coffeeshops to either break the law on quantity or break the law bringing in cannabis to the shops sometimes multiple times in a day. I know one coffee shop owner who was bankrupted a couple years ago for violating these quantity limits…

    Even in a place as liberal and forward thinking as Amsterdam, the realities are much darker then what most tourists, and even many dutch citizens ever see.

    Until the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is repealed or at least seriously amended no matter how much freedom for cannabis use is given- those that must be involved in its breeding, production, and distribution will at best inhabit a grey area, and more often then not a very dark and risky one.

  2. It looks as if the ban on tourists smoking in Amsterdam coffeeshops will not be implemented in January 2013. With both the city’s mayor and the coffee shops themselves declaring their intentions not to enforce the ban, tourists will remain welcome to buy weed and with Lonley Planet listing Amsterdam as second in the list of the world’s hottest destinations for 2013, next year will be a bumper year for the city and the coffee shops.

  3. Hey mate,
    Looks great! I hope these laws are still in place as I’m
    Looking to travel over there sometime this year.
    Thanks for the info!

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