Dutch judge set to ban tourists from cannabis cafes
Last year we published a story that tourists were to be banned from Dutch cannabis cafes. Well, despite on-going legal battles a judge has upheld the new law to stop tourists from entering the cafes and smoking weed.
Under the new law, Dutch residents will still be allowed into the coffee shops which have made Amsterdam and the Netherlands famous as long as they have valid identification or a new 'weed pass'.
The move comes in an attempt to spare locals from drug related anti-social behaviour amongst travelling tourists but so far its been met with an extremely negative response. Also, many people are worried that backpackers and travellers will still buy weed, but instead of buying it and smoking it in coffee shops, they'll just turn to the black market and to drug dealers. Even the mayor of Amsterdam is against the proposal, saying that the city doesn't suffer any problems from people smoking weed.
Michael Veling, a spokesman for the Dutch Cannabis Retailers Association, is challenging the government plan and told the BBC: "It is going to cost me 90% of my turnover.
"That is a very good reason for anyone to oppose any plan. Second it puts our customers in a very difficult spot, because why do you have to register to buy a substance that is still illegal?"
The ban is due to commence in three southern provinces next month and go nationwide by the end of the year.
It's thought that almost a third of tourists visiting Amsterdam do so to go to the coffee shops and smoke.
So what do you think gappers? Do you think cannabis should be banned from cafes in the Netherlands? Do you think less backpackers and travellers will visit Amsterdam if they can’t smoke? Post your thoughts below.
If you’re thinking of travelling to the Netherlands before the ban comes in to play then head to our Netherlands country section for more advice and information on travelling the country.