Amsterdam To Consider Banning British Tourists From Buying Weed
You can't beat a weekend in Amsterdam. Walking along the canals, taking in its artistic heritage, enjoying a bike ride and, well, you know the rest.
Although hundreds of travellers flock to the city each year
to smoke weed and cruise the red light district, Amsterdam's mayor has proposed a citywide clean-up after highlighting the issue of sex and drugs tourism.
Mayor Femke Halsema backed her campaign by sending a letter to councillors alongside the results of a recent survey, which revealed that a third of foreign tourists and nearly half of Britons would be less likely to visit again if they were banned from buying weed in coffee shops.
According to The Guardian, the survey from Amsterdam's research shows that the Dutch capital is struggling to cope with the amount of tourists it receives, so much so that certain attractions are no longer being promoted.
Although the city is home to 1.1 million people, a whopping 17m head over there each year in their droves, in many cases to make the most of the city's liberal laws on sex and drugs.
Out of this figure, 34 percent of those who visit the Singel area, home to the red-light district, would come less often if there was a ban on foreigners buying weed, while 11 percent wouldn't come at all.
The figure is even higher with British participants, as 42 percent said they wouldn't frequent Amsterdam if the coffee shops dried up.
The research notes: "For British visitors, coffee shops by far are the most frequently mentioned main reason to come to Amsterdam (33%).
"They cite walking or cycling through the city less often as the main reason (21%) than the average (32%) and, on the contrary, more often indicate that a cheap trip was the main reason (11% compared with 6% on average)."
In a bid to tackle what is seen as a seedy culture in certain areas of the city, Femke is now calling on councillors to join her in a campaign to clean up the streets and cut the amount of travellers only visiting to get off their nut.
What's more, the mayor is hoping to deal with the issue of the Netherlands' contradictory drug laws, which say that while it's legal to sell cannabis from coffee shops, it's illegal to actually produce the plant, meaning that the shop owners often deal with 'back door' drug gangs.
In her letter, the mayor said she wanted the study to 'reduce the attraction of cannabis to tourists and the (local) regulation of the back door'.
The letter continued: "A clear separation of markets between hard drugs and soft drugs has great urgency because of the hardening of the trade in hard drugs."
The news arrives a year after the Netherlands considered banning prostitution following a 40,000-strong petition in its favour.
Although the legalisation of sex work was granted in a bid to safeguard those involved, according to research conducted by Exxpose, it hasn't made it any safer for sex workers in the country.
The website notes that 68 percent of people in the industry have had symptoms of PTSD, while 60 percent have been raped and 70 percent have experienced physical violence of some sort.
Featured Image Credit: PA