Amsterdam tourist cannabis ban rejected by mayor

Protestor lights marijuana joint, Amsterdam 20 April 2012

BBC

The mayor of Amsterdam says he will not ban foreign tourists from using the city’s famous cannabis cafes, after months of argument over new drug laws.

The move comes after the new government of the Netherlands said it would be up to local authorities whether or not to impose such a ban.

Mayor Eberhard van der Laan said banning the sale of the drug to foreigners could lead to more crime.

Each year, some 1.5 million tourists visit Amsterdam to consume cannabis.

“The 1.5 million tourists will not say ‘then no more marijuana’, they will swarm all over the city looking for drugs,” said Mayor Van der Laan, who has long opposed a ban.

“This would lead to more robberies, quarrels about fake drugs, and no control of the quality of drugs on the market – everything we have worked towards would be lost to misery.”

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