Amsterdam's Cannabis Cafés Will Remain Open to Foreigners

Dick Cowan called it: The new Dutch government has abandoned plans to create a national "weed pass," available only to citizens and residents, for admission to cannabis cafés. Instead cities will decide whether foreigners may patronize "coffee shops" that sell marijuana, which is still technically illegal in the Netherlands but tolerated at the retail level. Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, who opposed the previous government's efforts to exclude tourists from one of his city's best-known attractions, says people from other countries will remain welcome at establishments such as the Bulldog, Abraxas, and the Grasshopper, because barring them would create more problems than it would solve:

The 1.5 million tourists will not say "then no more marijuana." They will swarm all over the city looking for drugs. This would lead to more robberies, quarrels about fake drugs, and no control of the quality of drugs on the market. Everything we have worked towards would be lost to misery.

The BBC notes that Amsterdam "relies heavily on tourism, and cannabis users make up about a third of its total visitors." And it may soon face competition from Seattle and Denver.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    This would lead to more robberies, quarrels about fake drugs, and no control of the quality of drugs on the market.

    Some people apparently see this as an appropriate goal.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It was really a politician that said that?

  • ||

    I'd chose a weed vacation in Amsterdam over Denver or Seattle any day.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Not me. I thought Amsterdam was boring.

  • Zeb||

    I think 2 days is about the right amount of time to spend in Amsterdam if you are just checking it out.

  • ||

    I don't bore easily. Sit me down in front of a window with a nice view and good people-watching, and I'm good for hours. If weed is involved - days.

  • ||

    Then you will enjoy it. The area around the red light districts is a giant sketchy party full of drunk British men but outside the city is a beautiful place to walk around, have a spliff with some coffee and/or sit in one of the corner cafes and have some beer.

  • thom||

    I did too. A few hours after you get there the novelty of buying legal weed has completely worn off. Good Indonesian food is in abundance though.

  • jway||

    That's right and the same will happen here. The novelty wears off real fast.

  • ||

    Considering Seattle is FULL RAINTARD right now, that would probably be wise. Fuck, I have to walk to work in this shit.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    When does teh dope become legal in CO? 'Cause I got a ski trip to Vail scheduled in February.

  • ||

    I assume the same time it becomes legal here in Washington. November.

  • Paul.||

    Considering Seattle is FULL RAINTARD

    I'm imagining weather in Amsterdam... yeah, looks pretty full RainTard to me.

  • sarcasmic||

    Denver sucks. Cops there are fucking Nazis.

    Never been to Seattle, but I hear it's not that much better.

    I'd try Amsterdam.

  • Paul.||

    Just don't make any sudden movements with any shiny objects in your hands and you'll be fine.

  • jway||

    I love Amsterdam but Denver and Seattle are much closer. Atlanta is even closer. LEGALIZE marijuana in GEORGIA!!!

  • NeonCat||

    From your lips to God's ears…

  • R C Dean||

    One of my favorite cities, although parts of it have gone downhill recently.

  • Zeb||

    Well, that's nice. I really couldn't imagine that working very well anyway. The coffee shops would have probably just switched to slightly less open sales to foreigners.

  • Jerry on the road||

    Apparently after the introduction of the weed pass people started buying drugs from street vendors again.

  • tagtann||

    Sometimes dude you just have to roll with it man
    www.anon-e.tk

  • Tim||

    Is this the ones with the prostitute windows?

  • ||

    Yeah I think they've cut back on the red light district in recent years though.

    The thing about Amsterdam prostitutes is they're all in a union and they all charge the exact same (e.g. 50 euros for 30 minutes or whatever). So you can imagine with no way to differentiate themselves via price some of the girls get a lot more business than others.

  • kinnath||

    One of the great stories from a program I used to work on involved street walkers in Amsterdam.

    On one night, one of the engineers I work with was out with several coworkers. He was having some fun by trying to talk a girl down to 20 bucks.

    The next night everyone was out wandering around again, but accompanied by their wives. The street walker noticed them; walked up to the guy; pointed at his wife; and said "that's what you get for 20 bucks".

  • Paul.||

    Was she there all week?

  • jway||

    Wow, that's funny!! lol

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "The thing about Amsterdam prostitutes is they're all in a union and they all charge the exact same (e.g. 50 euros for 30 minutes or whatever). So you can imagine with no way to differentiate themselves via price some of the girls get a lot more business than others."

    I'm sorry, but Bertha here has seniority.

    That never gets old.

  • kinnath||

    I've stood outside the Grasshopper, but have not been inside it.

  • ||

    Hey, legalizing weed is on the ballot in Burlington, VT too.

  • ||

    Burlington I would choose over Amsterdam. Mainly because I'm from nearby Essex Jct., so I could hang out with friend in the BTV. And then go skiing.

  • Paul.||

    Skiing in Vermont is... yeah... you folks got some tallish hills out there, yeah?

  • ||

    DON'T TALK SHIT ABOUT STOWE

  • Paul.||

    What about Madelein Stowe?

  • ||

    Skiing in VT is for Real Men & Women.

  • Paul.||

    Isn't Vermont just one big green run? Sort the Bunny Slope of America?

  • ||

    You've never skied off into Smuggler's Notch from Stowe have you? The close-packed trees and rocks add some significant difficulty.

  • Paul.||

    This conversation is beginning to remind me of a conversation I lurked about on a biking forum a few years back.

    Joke about Kansas being flat goes out.

    Someone from Kansas gets miffed and says, "Anyone who thinks Kansas is flat should do the [something to something] run"

    Someone from here pipes up and says, "Anyone who thinks Kansas isn't flat should do the [MT. Rainier to something something] run."

    Thread gets very quiet.

  • ||

    VT mountains aren't big, they are just kind of like obstacle courses.

  • nipplemancer||

    No that would be the ski 'mountain' that I live above. It's bunny slopes all over.

  • jway||

    Yeah but it's pretty much symbolic. It will, however, put pressure on our legislators for more science-based marijuana laws if it passes.

    By every objective measure, marijuana is far safer than alcohol, so why should the purchase and home production of marijuana be *more* restricted than alcohol?

  • ||

    Hopefully we'll find out soon how symbolic it is. I already voted for it but I haven't heard how it's trending in town.

  • ||

    My first coffeeshop was called, "The Other Place." It's motif was Pink Floyd music. If I went back, I think I would have to stay at the Bulldog, if it still exist. Last I knew, it was a coffeeshop, restraunt, and hotel all rapped in one.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You mean I won't have to use my phony Dutch name to get into these coffehouses any more?

  • jway||

    Fantastic news and good for Amsterdam too! Providing people with a legal way to buy cannabis eliminates their incentive to buy from drug dealers on the street.

    People are safer and happier too because they get to *choose* not to use cannabis rather than feel that the government is *forcing* them not to use cannabis. Paranoid old men in the federal government keep cannabis illegal and make your children LESS safe!

  • ||

    Multiple Bulldogs in Amsterdam... at least there were last year. We just stopped at the one closest to the hotel for our FIRST experience (I'm 60... my wife is 54). Might have overdone it initially because in short order I felt pretty seasick. A "friend" who was with us, and who had dabbled 30 years earlier indicated that perhaps the weed's a little more powerful than it used to be.

    Glad they're not going to give up on tourists because I'd like another opportunity to see what the attraction is.

    CB

  • 0x90||

    "Multiple Bulldogs in Amsterdam... at least there were last year."

    Still true, as of last week.

  • jway||

    In my opinion, the best coffeeshop is Hill Street Blues (just around the corner from the Grasshopper. Not as many tourists as Grasshopper and Bulldog and better atmosphere too.

  • sohbet||

    very super blogos thanks admin sohbet & sohbet odaları

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement