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Amsterdam will not enforce ban on tourists visiting Coffee Shops

Next month a national ban will take effect, which makes it against the law for tourists or other foreigners from purchasing cannabis at the world renowned coffee shops in the city

December 14, 2012 – Next month a national ban will take effect, which makes it against the law for tourists or other foreigners from purchasing cannabis at the world renowned coffee shops in the city. The ban will remain in effect, but the police in Amsterdam will ignore the tourists buying the drug. This was announced by the mayor of Amsterdam on Thursday.

The comments by the mayor, ended months of speculation over the ban on purchasing cannabis by visiting foreigners that was approved this year by the national government in the Netherlands. The government coalition that approved the ban has since collapsed.

The coalition government that introduced the soon to be in effect ban had complained that the shops were attracting unwelcome visitors and crime. However, the new legislation was not greeted well by officials from Amsterdam, whose over 200 shops make for a huge source of income that is then spent in the city. The mayor of Amsterdam said that out of between six million and seven million tourists who visit Amsterdam annually, about 33% of them enter a coffee shop. His worry was that if the residence requirement were applied, cannabis products would then be purchased on the street.

The current government in the Netherlands would not repeal the ban that many in the southern provinces of the country had welcome. Officials in the south complained of problems with traffic that was being caused by drug tourists arriving from Germany and Belgium.

Starting on January 1, some restrictions on the use of cannabis will go into effect in Amsterdam. Coffee shops must be located at least 275 yards from any school and public playgrounds might be banned for cannabis smokers.

Amsterdam is seen by many as one of the most liberal cities in the Europe and is a very popular tourist destination.

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