May 272011
 May 27, 2011

amsterdam marijuana cafeThe Dutch government on Friday said it would start banning tourists from buying cannabis from “coffee shops” and impose restrictions on Dutch customers by the end of the year.

The Dutch Cabinet says it will push ahead with plans to force anyone wishing to purchase marijuana at the country’s weed cafes to first obtain an official pass – a move designed to curtail tourists from buying the drug.

Pushed through by the far-right party of anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders, the coalition government that came into power last year. He has also announced plans to curb drug tourism as part of a nationwide program to promote health and fight crime.

The Netherlands is well known for having one of Europe’s most liberal soft drug policies that has made its cannabis shops a popular tourist attraction, particularly in Amsterdam.

“In order to tackle the nuisance and criminality associated with coffee shops and drug trafficking, the open-door policy of coffee shops will end,” the Dutch health and justice ministers wrote in a letter to the country’s parliament on Friday.

CoffeeshopUnder the new rules, only Dutch residents will be able to sign up as members of cannabis shops. Dutch customers will have to sign up for at least a year’s membership and each shop would be expected to have only up to 1,500 members, a justice ministry spokesman said. Justice Ministry spokesman Wim van der Weegen said Friday the supreme court must still rule on whether foreigners can be blocked entirely.

Amsterdam, home to about 220 coffee shops, is already in the process of closing some in its red light district. Some officials have resisted the measures, saying they will push the soft drug trade underground. Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he plans to begin rolling out the system in the country’s south later this year, an area popular with French and German buyers, before moving on to Amsterdam’s famed tourist cafes later in his term.

About Jay Smoker

I have been smoking marijuana for almost twenty years and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. My life was turned upside down in 2009 after getting arrested and tossed in jail for being in the wrong state with legal medical marijuana. I got fed up, and I now devote all my time to ending this insanity.I am responsible for the technical side of this project, but try to chip in when I can, either with syndicated articles or original content.Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.Feel free to email. any questions or concerns. Peace!
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  • BubbleMaster

    horrible news. then again their marijuana wasn’t all that great. why not just go visit California and sign up for a medicinal marijuana card? hopefully the Dutch people replace this moron as a prime minister and get back to smoking bud and selling marijuana seeds.

  • don

    I have gone to Amsterdam for years . You could see this was going to happen with the outlaw of mushrooms and tobacco indoors . Good luck with their economy , noone will want to go to that rainy cold place . it will be a quick stop on a EU tour . tourism will be cut in half . What a bad joke on everyone .

    • sady mc’american

      too true, I just moved to Belgium, and if that’s the case then I will just buy my shit elsewhere, I don’t know why people insist on trying to influence other’s life choices

  • Steve

    Consertives are idiots! I am 53 year old professioinal male who has visited amsterdam over 15 times over the years. I go exclusively for the freedom to smoke marajuana that was offered in this once great city. The next to close will be Amsterdam hotels. This should fix Amsterdam bucking the trend in property values. Bye Amsterdam, let me know when you get your act together and toss out the right wing nuts like we did here in America.

    Everyone, should now to go California for medical marajuana.

    • Toronto Canuck

      I agree with you Steve, however, the right wing nuts are well and thriving (always will be) in the land of the “free”. What’s more disturbing is that they seem to be spreading their poisonous influence in Canada as well where they’ve grabbed a majority government and are passing some of the dumbest laws at ease.

      Amsterdam is and will still be a very important cultural city; however, with the elimination of “drug” (weed and mushrooms grow naturally and undergo no chemical procedures unlike tobacco and alcohol) tourism its economy will drastically suffer. I’ve taken time to visit the city on every stopover I’ve had (longer than 5 hrs) and spent hard earned money there (weed, food, souvenirs)… there’s no point for that anymore. I will say my goodbye in a week’s time…this time for good. :((

  • michael

    Agree with above comments.

    I regulary visit with my with (Both in 30’s) and spend thousands of euros each visit. Unfortunately a few of those euros are used to purchase cannabis, which in turn singles me out as drug tourist (Wife doesn’t smoke) and a burden on a great city. My first instinct on hearing the news was to immediately book a 3 day trip starting Thursday, but 5 minutes on the laptop and i ended up in a mental battle over why i was trying to book a break to a city that doesn’t want me anymore…

    Truly a sad day for anyone that’s experienced the common sense approach which the Netherlands has offered for years.

  • WeedLovin’ ;)

    Hey guys, how would you get about getting some of the stuff now in the Netherlands? ;) It’s still the most liberal country out there, so I suppose the consequences of getting caught there with this “extremely serious” crime is just a fine ;) I’d love to try to try some really good shit! Don’t understand why they banned it… I would definitely go there and spend a grand or something, not only on the high, but buying stuff, dining at cafe’s etc. not to mention spending on a hotel if it wasn’t the case. Now I am wondering if it is still easy to get stuff on the street and how do you do that. Thanks!

  • JoBlo

    Just when we thought that the Netherlands are leading the way to a sensible outcome for the most innocuous smoked leaf in society, some people there truly believe that the way forward is prohibition Criminality will be buffered and absolutely promoted by this policy. Decriminalise all ‘soft’ drugs..there will be no room for criminals to make a quick buck therefore allowing the authorities to concentrate on hard drug cartels.The Police, Judiciary, Social Services and Intellectual pressure groups feel the same way…Why don’t politicians? Criminality in Amsterdam due to dope…give me a break. Been going there for 20yrs, never seen any of that! Most chilled place I’ve ever seen.

  • MM

    Whoever is shutting down the whore shops and coffee shops to tourists I hope regrets himself soon with much gnashing of teeth. In the meantime I’ll be puffin California product.

  • EC

    That’s crazy. Amsterdam where tourists can’t buy marijuana. I’d been planning on going to the Cannabis Cup in the near future. I think I’ll wait now.

  • no dope no hope

    What?! That’s ridiculous, I hope the goverment realise there idiotic mistake before my trip with 30 ganja smoking rugby players at the end of the season, if not then we mayss well take out money elsewhere…. Goverment=idiots

  • bt

    I went to the cannabis cup in 2005 with a friend. We each spent $5,000 for a months stay, but were severely disappointed. The quality of the weed was terrible, (much better in Seattle,WA.), and except for the staff of the coffee shops, a lot of Dutch are rude and arrogant, not to mention racially prejudice – (check out their Christmas traditions, probable the only country that still tolerates the use of “black face” costumes.)
    Stupid people, alcohol is the problem, not weed. Puke and feces all over the sidewalks from DRUNKS.

    • That_Guy

      Maybe they just don’t like black people?, LMAO!


    Damn im glad i was there past september and rolled a joint just before watching van gogh and rembrandt!

  • Jerryg60

    anyone know how much a tourist pass will be? I am going to Amsterdam Jan 2013

    • Toronto Canuck

      By 2013, marijuana will be made illegal to all tourists. Only residents will be able to purchase it. I guess you better be making some friends soon.


    Cali is alot nicer anyways, bud is 100x better it’s always fresh people are nice and enjoy your business and it’s. Cheaper to take a girl out to dinner than rent a girl for the night in the red light district, not to mention less than half the price. I only went to Amsterdam because you could get stoned and see interesting new things