Dutch lawmakers are becoming the Seinfeldian soup Nazi’s of drug use (“No Pot For You!”), enacting a law on May 1 that makes it illegal for tourists to purchase cannabis and other drug based substances from the countries shop owners.
The measure is being put into place in three southern provinces of the country and will then spread throughout all of the Netherlands by the end of the year.
In the meantime café owners have argued that the bill is discriminatory against tourists and will only serve in increasing the street dealing of illegal narcotics. Coffee shop and other store owners are planning to appeal the case with the European Court of Human Rights.
The bill was passed over concerns for “pot tourism” which led drug couriers to enter the area, purchased marijuana and then take the legally purchased drugs back home to Belgium and Germany where it was sold illegally for a profit.
In the meantime the city with the most to lose in terms of “pot tourism” is likely Amsterdam, a city who’s mayor strongly opposes the ban on tourist based drug sales. While citizens in Amsterdam and surrounding areas would be allowed to purchase drugs, they would first have to carry a “weed pass” which provide private membership to legally purchased drugs.
In several cities, including Amsterdam, shop owners have said they will ignore the law and wait for the government to sue.
Do you think Amsterdam and other Dutch locations will lose their appeal for many tourists if legal drugs suddenly become illegal to tourists?