There is no arguing that Amsterdam makes for a great European vacation. The vibrant city is full of cute shopping on canal-lined streets, world-class museums and restaurants, open-air markets, and world-famous coffee shops.
Whereas most anywhere else in the world a coffee shop is a place to buy a nice cup of coffee, it means something else entirely in Amsterdam. In fact, hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to Amsterdam every year to partake in Amsterdam's unique coffee shop culture, where one can legally buy cannabis and cannabis-related paraphernalia, such as pipes, bongs, and edibles.
Since the pandemic, however, things in Amsterdam and (more specifically) in the Red Light District have calmed down considerably. So much so that Amsterdam's mayor, Femke Halsema, is proposing a ban that restricts tourists from purchasing weed at coffee shops once Amsterdam is open again, which is currently scheduled for February 8th. With the proposed ban, Halsema and her supporters are hoping to attract the right type of tourist.
Amsterdam is of course in a lucky position to be talking about turning potential tourists away, as many tourist-dependent cities and countries are currently suffering economic set-backs during the pandemic. Pre-pandemic, Amsterdam had over 19 million tourists visit annually. Of course, with cannabis becoming more accepted and legal all around the world, some are arguing that it won't have much of an impact on tourism.
What do you think, is banning weed for tourists the logical next step in helping to curb over-tourism in Amsterdam? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!