Amsterdam to BAN WEED SALES to Tourists

After nearly three and a half decades, Marijuana Mecca−Amsterdam looks to ban weed-loving foreigners from buying and enjoying marijuana and hash in its 223 coffee shops as part of a national crackdown on drug use. The new, very conservative, Dutch government that took office last month has agreed to limit the sale of weed to only residents in order to curtail alleged crime surrounding the sale and production of weed.  And, some Dutch border towns like Maastricht and Terneuzen have already restricted the sale of weed to foreigners.

Currently, the possession of up to 5 grams of weed or hash is allowed in the Netherlands resulting from a policy introduced in the arena-rock 70’s as a way of separating soft and hard drugs. The program has been largely a success at reducing addictionction rates to hard drugs, but it looks as if Amster-D is getting a bit image-conscious these days as they’re not looking to be known as a tourist destination for stoners any longer. “We don’t like that,” said Ivo Opstelten, the Minister of Public Safety and Justice, yesterday on Amster-D TV.  Large-scale weed production has always been a crime in Amsterdam, however, growing, transporting and keeping coffee shops stocked with no more than 500 grams of weed at a time, has made things very interesting over the years.

“The heart of the problem is crime and disturbances surrounding the sale. We have to go back to what it was meant for: local use” says Opstelten. So far plans are uncertain and have not been formally put into law, but the minister is expected to break everyone’s hearts with a formal proposal sometime in the New Year. And, allegedly coffee shops all over Amsterdam are already slowing sales to foreigners and in July it was a judge’s decision that allowed that town of Maastricht to halt sales of weed to tourists.

What does this mean for the famed High Times Cannabis Cup competition held every year in Amsterdam… happening right now−by the way? Well, it’s probably destined for California soon! So it’s no wonder the makers of High Times magazine recently sued a local San Francisco dispensary owner who’s held an annual SF “Cannabis Cup” FUNDRAISER over trademark infringement. Kevin Reed, the CEO of an SF-based weed delivery service called The Green Cross has, for the past three years, hosted an annual pot party/fundraiser called the SF Cannabis Cup. The fourth annual competition went down last Sunday, November 14, 2010, despite the threats from NY-based High-Times magazine promising at least $75,000 in legal fees as well as seizing all of the proceeds from the event.

“[This] is a blatant misappropriation of THC’s exclusive trademark and further, a deliberate attempt by your organization to confuse the public about who is actually promoting and hosting the event. Such blatant theft cannot be tolerated,” wrote Clifford Holland, a New York City-based lawyer representing Trans-High Corporation, the parent company of High Times.

What does all this mean for traveling stoners? Well, if you’re into looking at windmills check out dreary Amsterdam, but if you want to smoke some good WEED and check out some world-class cannabis competition, come on out to sunny California.

14 Responses to “Amsterdam to BAN WEED SALES to Tourists”

  1. cyberkick


  2. Move To Amsterdam

    This will not happen.

    Yes, this the pace of change is faster than it has been but local Amsterdam government is opposed to making them sell to residents only.

    Even Maastricht council voted almost immediately against any possible future introduction of a wietpas.

    Keep coming (or better yet, move here) – weed will be around for some time yet.

  3. i wanna move to the dam

    they best not stop sellin to tourists coz i wanna move there some day and get blazed

  4. Burner

    Well I am planning a trip to Amster-D this summer (Aug) but have put off my plans because of the pending legislation. Any insight as to when this new law could possibly go into effect? I suspect that even if the new law gets passed it will take some time before the restriction is enforced because of the registration process that is involved for locals. Anyone have any information on what happening? Thanks.

  5. Name


  6. AJ

    Is there any way we can get an update as to what’s going on? I want to take a trip to Amsterdam, but I will just go somewhere else if this ban goes into effect.

  7. D-Man

    I doubt coffeeshops will deny money over the counter for their product, although sale may be much more discreet. This ban is such bullshit, and it is their loss as well as ours.

  8. Name

    The gov is retarded for proposing this ban .
    They r gonna loose so much $ plus the majority
    Of foreign stoners r not gonna make trouble
    They’re just there to have fun and b happy
    Do let the gov screw everyone over if there that dumb
    Down wit amsterdam

  9. Joe Blow

    I was just there last weekend and a cab friver told me they are ttrying but the money they would loose in tourism may not be worth the trouble of the so called “tourist ban” but at the same time better enjoy it why you can if you can

  10. Grasshopper 420

    This absolutely sucks! 🙁 Doesn’t the Dutch government realize they will lose MILLIONS of Euros annually without weed sales for tourists? There are so many hotels and restaurants that will go out of business without coffeeshop tourism.

    If they are so concerned about suppossed “problems” arising from stoners they ought to first shut down bars. Alcohol causes fights and disrupting the peace: not grass!

  11. david gorman

    I travel to Amsterdam at least once a yr for the Queens Birthday
    i am visiting there in April 28th for 4 nites nxt yr, will it be possible to buy weed/hash then…
    thank you Mr D Gorman

  12. Retired smoker

    I went to Amsterdam for my 21st in November for Innovation in the dam (an amazing drum and bass holiday) with my boyfriend and three friends. I absolutely loved everything about it and although I hardly get stoned would love to move there and think it’s a wonderful city with great people. I used to smoke green a lot but stopped a couple of years ago and my first smoke since stopping was at the dam. The coffee shops, the relax atmosphere, the freedom of doing harmless stuff which you can’t do in other tight country’s and its beautiful people and Architecture makes Amsterdam and very special and wonderful place which everyone should experience in their lives even if you don’t smoke. I heard they are banning it early next year (2012) I personally think this is a BIG mistake as tourist income is a large profit for the city of Amsterdam and Holland and in this economic downfall which is affecting nearly every country at the moment I believe it is really bad timing and unnecessary. I would love to go back next year but not sure if it would be the same with the ban!

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    What a scary collection of intellectu-ally challenged candidates the Republican Party presents. It’s like something out of a B-movie except worse because it’s real! Heaven help the US and the rest of the world if any of these bozos acually get elected.Buy Tera Gold

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