Foreigners will not be allowed to consume cannabis at the famous Dutch coffee shops any more. Today a court in the country upheld a government-proposed law banning foreigners from these shops, the Washington Post reports.
The rules will first apply only to some cities in the south, where drug-related crimes have spiked in recent years (prompting the government to propose the bill), but will come into effect in Amsterdam as well by next year.
There is no question the ban will make an enormous dent in tourism and local businesses. An association of the Netherlands’ 600 cannabis cafes, represented by its lawyers, has said it will appeal the decision on the grounds that it is “discriminatory” against foreigners.
From the Post:
“This is a bad decision not only for the foreigners who can be discriminated against now, but also for the image of the Netherlands in other countries,” said Maurice Veldman, lawyer for a group of cafes that challenged the new law. “We are not a free country anymore because our government asks us to discriminate.”
In Amsterdam, shop owners have actually vowed to simply disregard the ban once it’s implemented.