Amsterdam is Jerusalem for stoners. But the promised land isn’t quite what it once was. The annual Cannabis Cup was raided last month, psychedelic mushrooms are no longer legally sold, and in the past few years, the renowned coffee shops have been facing regulations.
The latest proposed regulation could affect tourism in Amsterdam, and the overall economy of a city that relies heavily on cannabis. Bloomberg published a piece with the misleading headline, Netherlands Stops Tourists Buying Marijuana in Coffee Shops which included deceptive information.
While the 223 Amsterdam coffee shops are visited by about 1 million tourists annually, they’ll now only be allowed to sell to Dutch citizens and foreigners who live in the country. Every coffee shop can register as many as 2,000 members who are allowed to buy marijuana or hashish, the minister wrote.
That would be fine…but the piece goes on to state that regulations are really meant to control tourists from purchasing marijuana at the Dutch border, not to lock up Amsterdam’s biggest tourism draw. Unlike the United States’ government, the Netherlands is aware that restricting marijuana would be an awful decision for its economy.
If these regulations do in fact even hit Amsterdam (which is doubtful), it wouldn’t be until 2013. So no, we don’t need a marijuana Moses quite yet to lead us to the next European promised land–Amsterdam is still plenty green.