A court in the Netherlands has upheld a new law to ban foreign tourists from cannabis cafes, the BBC reports. The ban is due to start in three southern provinces next month, and go nationwide by the end of the year.
Amsterdam, perhaps the most popular spot for tourists seeking marijuana, will be subject to the new law by next year.
The Netherlands is known for a liberal drug policy, especially when it comes to so-called “soft” drugs like marijuana. The law is aimed at foreigners who have come to see the country as a soft drugs paradise and to tackle a rise in crime related to the drug trade, Reuters reported. It also aims to stop people from coming to the Netherlands to buy drugs and then taking them back to their home countries to re-sell.
Only locals, whether Dutch or foreign residents, will be allowed to join a coffee shop. A pass would allow Dutch citizens to legally buy cannabis.
Coffee shop owners are protesting the move, saying they shouldn’t be forced to discriminate between tourists and non-tourists. Certainly, the ban on foreigners will be bad for business. How it impacts tourism remains to be seen.