Time to stop putting off that trip to Amsterdam.
According to a variety of media reports, tourists will no longer be able to buy marijuana in Amsterdam's famed coffee shops beginning next year.
"Persons who do not hold Dutch citizenship will not have access to the coffee shops," the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice said in a statement, according to CNN. " . . . The Cabinet expects that closure of coffee shops to foreign drugs tourists will ensure that they no longer travel to the Netherlands to purchase and consume cannabis. After all, many of them can use the illegal markets available in their immediate surroundings."
(True, but there's something special about smoking marijuana near a fine canal.)
Many Dutch officials fear such restrictions will hurt tourism, and have pledged to fight the rule.
"The Dutch government has decided upon this for the whole of the Netherlands. Amsterdam doesn't want it," said Machteld Ligtvoet, a spokeswoman for the Amsterdam Tourism & Convention Board, according to CNN. " . . . Coffee shops are not actively promoted by our organization and are not used in order to attract tourists. However, the mere idea that one can buy and use soft drugs here is an attractive aspect of Amsterdam and its famous spirit of freedom."