Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema submitted a plan to city council on Friday that would bar foreign tourists from the city’s famous marijuana “coffee shops.” Halsema floated the idea of limiting tourist access to the cannabis retailers in February in a bid to limit congestion and crime in the city.
Under Halsema’s plan, only Dutch residents would be permitted to enter the city’s coffee shops. The proposal, which is designed to stem organized crime and the trafficking of hard drugs, is supported by local police and prosecutors.
“The cannabis market is too big and overheated,” Halsema said in emailed comments reported by Bloomberg. “I want to shrink the cannabis market and make it manageable. The residence condition is far-reaching, but I see no alternative.”
The mayor expects the plan, if approved, to be implemented by 2022 at the earliest. Debate over the details is likely, including the drafting of a transitional plan for shop owners. The proposal is an effort to improve the quality of life for residents and reduce the city’s influx of tourists, which totaled up to one million visitors per month before the coronavirus pandemic.
“Coffee shops, especially in the center, largely run on tourists,” Halsema said. “The