Amsterdam – known for its canals, tulips, and of course its marijuana-selling coffee shops. And currently it is the latter which are causing a political rift.
From January 1 tourists will be barred from the shops. It is a ban introduced by last year’s government and now Amsterdam’s mayor wants to get round the law for his city and local shop owner Michael Veling agrees.
“The text in the law is very vague, so I thinks it’s completely normal for the mayor say these things.
“Ninety per cent of revenues would be lost if I couldn’t let foreigners in….”
Although the two parties forming the Netherlands’ next government do want to allow cities to circumvent the national ban, the ministry of justice has said no.
For decades the Netherlands has been a haven of tolerance for soft drugs attracting tourists from around the world, but that tolerance has drawn complaints from residents who say the influx of cannabis lovers brings with it congestion and crime.