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!
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