New Dutch laws to curb "Drug Tourism"

Jodi - posted on 05/30/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Those tourists who flock to Amsterdam and other Dutch cities for their liberal laws regarding drugs, particularly cannabis, will be disappointed to hear that this is all about to go up in smoke.

The Dutch Government claims that by the end of the year, they aim to curb the proliferation in ‘drug tourism’ that is sweeping the Netherlands.

The new laws will see tourists banned from buying drugs in ‘coffee shops’, with Dutch health ministers stating, "In order to tackle the nuisance and criminality associated with coffee shops and drug trafficking, the open-door policy of coffee shops will end".

This new approach to drugs is part of a wider bid to promote health and curb crime in the Netherlands, with Dutch residents also being subject to a new set of laws regarding the buying and selling of cannabis.

When the new regulations take effect, Dutch citizens will be required to register as members at shops in order to have access to their goods, and a restriction on numbers of members for each outlet will be enforced.

There are already some towns that have restricted the sale of cannabis to tourists, such as Maastricht and Terneuzen, with Limburg, Zeeland and Noord Brabant close behind.

Next year the laws will be in effect in every city across the country, including the favourite tourist drug destination of Amsterdam, which is currently home to over 220 cannabis coffee shops.

http://au.totaltravel.yahoo.com/travel-i...

Also, have a read through the comments below the article......interesting commentary.

What are your thoughts? Do you think this defeats the purpose of having legal cannabis? Do you think it will hurt the Dutch tourism industry in a major way, or does the Netherlands actually have a lot more going for it than its cannabis laws? Is this evidence that legalising cannabis does NOT in fact prevent crime?

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Sneaky - posted on 05/30/2011

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I think they are going to have new industry blooming: the 'illegal' sale of 'legal' cannabis from the locals to the tourists . . . :o)

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Jenny - posted on 05/30/2011

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If everyone would have some sense and legalise it, drug tourism wouldn't be an issue. It's not the drug that's the problem, it's the prohibition.

I'm also betting this is from pressure from other countries and in 5 years they will stop enforcing it again.

Isobel - posted on 05/30/2011

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yeah, I suppose it's every pothead's dream to go to Amsterdam, but it's not them who can actually afford to go ;P

Jenn - posted on 05/30/2011

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I have been to Amsterdam, my Grandpa has, and my sister currently lives in Schimmert - all not pot related. When I was there, I can tell you that the coffee shops were not jam-packed full of tourists. I don't doubt that tourists go there and smoke weed, but I don't think that's the only reason people go there, and I don't think they will lose massive amounts of tourism dollars. I don't see the point of them doing this, but I don't think it's going to have this big impact that some of you are implying.

Desiree - posted on 05/30/2011

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I went there about 9 years ago with my husband on conference and I was shocked at how easy it was to get that kind of thing. Ok it wasn't the only thing that opened my eyes that trip but certainly the one I wasn't expecting.

Isobel - posted on 05/30/2011

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Jenn...I've never known ANYBODY who went to Amsterdam for any reason other than to smoke pot in a coffee shop.

When they first made it illegal to smoke (cigarettes) inside bars in Toronto, there was a bar around the corner that made itself a "private club", by charging every person who entered a "membership fee"...that's all that's going to happen in Amsterdam.

Fear not young pot heads.

Tara - posted on 05/30/2011

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Well....it says they are doing it to promote health and curb crime. It doesn't say anywhere in the article that crime has escalated and that they are doing this to reduce an increase. I honestly think they are doing this to pander to other countries laws on pot, they are going to lose a ton of business, tourism will shrink down to those who go to see windmills and wooden shoes and pretty countryside. And cyclists... don't forget the cyclists, they flock to the Netherlands for tournaments and sight seeing by bike.
But I do expect a HUGE drop in people going to the Netherlands, I know of two people who will probably cancel their trip in the fall due to this new law. They go every two years, to smoke up, take some down time from their kids and relax, they went on their honeymoon and have gone back a lot since. But I doubt they'll go again.
The Dutch will likely find out the hard way that sometimes you shouldn't fix something that isn't really broken.
Now if the article had provided some stats to show that crime or at least violent crime was on the rise since the legalization or (tolerance) of pot in the shops, than I might think that it's a step in the right direction. But we're not hearing about drive by shootings, or heroin addicts dropping dead on the street, or young kids ending up in the ER from too many "special treats".
So if they have real reasons other than pandering to other countries laws etc. than let's hear them!!

Jenn - posted on 05/30/2011

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Is the drug tourism REALLY that big? I mean, sure I get that it's kind of cool to be able to do it legally, but it's not like people can't and don't do it here as well, so I just can't see the tourism being THAT huge just because of drugs. My grandpa went to Amsterdam and I can tell you with 100% certainty that it had nothing to do with smoking some weed.

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