Harmless stoners criminalized: Amsterdam back to the stone age

Update September 2022: The Amsterdam City Parliament has rejected the proposal. So tourists can still buy cannabis in Amsterdam! 🎉


Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema has put forward a proposal that only residents of the Netherlands would get a so-called “Wiet-Pas,” which could be mandatory for buying cannabis in coffee shops as early as 2022(Tagesschau reports, Dutch original).

For tourists, this is a hard blow: If you could start your vacation in the Netherlands comfortably with a detour in Amsterdam's numerous coffee shops, the new regulation will push you to the black market in the alley in the future.

Mayor Halsema actually wants to reduce crime with her proposal, but abstinence doesn't work, as we know(source: Abstinence in Addiction Treatment)!

Tourists, of course, know exactly where this trip is headed: Within walking distance of the legal coffee shops, the street dealers who sell specifically to tourists are then bustling - so we have already personally experienced this in US cities such as San Francisco (before the legalization in 2016) or Seattle. A black market for tourists has also appeared in Uruguay. This reintroduces the risk of getting hold of stolen or dangerous substances.

The cliché with which Mayor Halsema lumps together all pot smokers is also shocking: In her eyes, you are apparently either a good tourist or a permanent pothead. Halsema categorically rules out the possibility of enjoying Amsterdam's culture, bike paths, nature or music scene even more impressively with a little cannabis.

Mrs. Halsema, we of the association Legalize it! appeal: Make progress in Amsterdam, not regression! Abstinence and bans do not work. Instead, focus on harm reduction, education and legal access for all consumers, including tourists.

More open letters to Mayor Halsema

Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

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