Mayor of Amsterdam in revealing interview; coffee shops to remain open

by William ASTON on November 1, 2012

Amsterdam’s famous cafes are to remain open for business in spite of the new government’s plans to limit sales of cannabis to locals only, as stated by the mayor of the city today.

Interviewed by the leftist publication Volkskrant, Mayor Eberhard van der Laan said that the city’s 200+ coffee shops are to continue selling pot to their customers even in the event that they don’t reside in Holland.  A Dutch coalition government, which is likely to be formed by Liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte, has planned to restrict all cannabis sales to tourists while requiring residents to present identification whenever entering one of the 670 coffee shops that are located around the country.

New plans replace the unpopular “cannabis card” law which stopped foreigners from being able to buy pot but pushed locals into submitting their names to be registered on a database. It is estimated that out of the the seven million tourists from overseas that head to Amsterdam every year, 1.5 million visit a coffee shop at least once.

Van der Laan made the point that the 1.5 million smoking visitors will roam across Holland’s largest city in the search for illegal drugs if cannabis isn’t as easy to obtain as it has been for years, therefore increasing the crime rate. While the cannabis card law came into three southern Dutch provinces this year, plans to extend the ruling to Amsterdam were scheduled to come into effect next year.

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