Cannabis cafes to stay open

Mayor of Amsterdam speaks out against the proposed law changes

This is a story that we've been following for a while now but apparently tourists won't be banned from smoking cannabis in Amsterdam in the near future.

Last April we published an update that tourists were set to be banned from cannabis cafes. Well, it seems as if there's been a U-turn in what will be welcome news for backpackers and travellers who go to the 'Dam looking for a good time.

Eberhard van der Laan, the mayor of Amsterdam, believes that changing the law would lead to more crime.

His decision follows months of arguments over Dutch drug laws after the country's government said it would leave it to local authorities whether or not to impose a ban.

Amsterdam is famous for its cannabis cafes

"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," said Mr Van der Laan.

Amsterdam is one of the most popular cities in the world among backpackers and travellers and one of the reasons why is due to its lax laws on drugs. According to the BBC, some 1.5 million out of an estimated seven million foreign tourists go to a weed-selling coffee shop while in the city.

Although cannabis is technically illegal in the Netherlands, the country in 1976 decriminalised possession of less than five grams of the substance.

What do you think gappers - good news or bad news? Let us know on the message boards.

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.