Amsterdam to Restrict Tourist access to Cannabis Coffee Shops

The ecologist mayor of Amsterdam has proposed to ban tourists from the city’s famous cannabis coffee shops. This was proposed in the light of a large part of the rising number of tourists who were visiting Amsterdam every year were just coming to consume the drug. The mayor highlighted that this “cannabis tourists” had become a nuisance. The mayor said, Amsterdam is an international city. The decision was taken in order to attract tourists for the richness, beauty and cultural institutions of the city rather than for the cannabis.

Status of Cannabis in Netherlands

  • Technically, Cannabis is illegal in the Netherlands.
  • However, under the “Tolerance Policy”, the possession of less than five grammes (0.18 ounces) of the substance was decriminalised in the year 1976.
  • The production of cannabis is illegal.
  • But the coffee shops are allowed to sell the substance.

Background

This banning of outsiders or non-Dutch customers from the coffee shops is not new. Different municipalities of the Netherlands have come up with the different rules regarding the sale and consumption of cannabis. But Amsterdam has strongly defended the laws that permit outsiders to enter coffee shops previously while regions like Maastricht in the south of the country do not permit non-Dutch customers into coffee shops.

Cannabis

  • Cannabis is indigenous to and originating from Central Asia and upper South Asia.
  • The plant is also known as hemp which refers only to varieties of Cannabis which is cultivated for non-drug use.
  • In order to comply with the UN Narcotics Convention, some cannabis strains have been bred to produce minimal levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the principal psychoactive constituent.
  • For its growth,
  1. Soil pH should be- 5.8 to 6.5.
  2. Temperature should be- 24 to 30 degree Celsius.
  3. Light can be indoor or outdoor.
  4. Humidity is required for its growth. Dry condition slower down the process of photosynthesis.

Amsterdam

It is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands. The city is referred to as the “Venice of the North” because of large number of canals. This has made the city UNESCO World Heritage Site. Main attractions of the city include- its historic canals and the cannabis coffee shops. It is often called as “Weed Capital” of the world. It derives its name from the Amstel dam.