Dutch to bogart weed

An 'economy-sized' blunt is fired up in protest.

An 'economy-sized' blunt is fired up in protest. (AP)

A popular reason to visit the Netherlands is about to go up in smoke.

The Associated Press reports a national “pass the weed” law will prevent foreigners from purchasing marijuana in the zillions of “coffee shops” lining the canals of Amsterdam.

City leaders in Amsterdam must feel like they’ve been hit in the head with a wooden shoe because┬ástoned tourists (and multiple dikes) help keep their fabled city afloat.

The new law, which will take effect throughout the country by 2013, will turn coffee shops into private clubs with membership open only to Dutch residents.

The national government argues the move will help crack down on so-called “drug tourists,” couriers who drive over the border from neighboring Belgium and Germany to buy large amounts of marijuana and take it home to resell.

Soon, the only reason to visit Amsterdam may be its rich history, culture, fantastic museums and tawdry sex shows. The local beer remains overrated.

* Read the AP article.

53 comments Add your comment

Scott Pruden

April 27th, 2012
8:41 am

Aw man! I always went there for the Delftware, nobody told me about the legal dope!


April 27th, 2012
8:46 am

I’d go to Amsterdam, smoke a fattie and then hang out in Anne Frank’s attic and play Pink Floyd albums. No reason to visit now.


April 27th, 2012
8:47 am

Smart move. This will cripple the economy of of many of the Dutch cities.


April 27th, 2012
8:57 am

This will eviscerate their tourism industry. Prohibition has always been, and will always be, nothing but a costly failure.

Whoa Nelly

April 27th, 2012
9:09 am

“Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea”


April 27th, 2012
9:12 am

But you’ll still be able to buy shrooms :D


April 27th, 2012
9:16 am

Since the government just fell this week, it is unlikely the new government will move forward with the plan to outlaw tourists in coffee shops. The plan was to roll it out later this year in the South and next year for the whole country. The new government will be formed by September so we will know then. If they were to try to make private clubs in Amsterdam most likely the law would be ignored anyway or you would just see it move to the streets since having pot would still would be “tolerated”. In the South there is already pushback as you must register with the government to get an ID for the coffeeshop membership. Few are willing to put there names on a list with the government so, it will likely be ignored in the South as well.

c dog

April 27th, 2012
9:28 am

Amstel and Heineken are pretty good! But yea, no reason to visit if i can’t light it up


April 27th, 2012
9:28 am

I believe they have moved the “shrooms” to a higher class of controlled substances which carries fines and jail time. I was considering going over there to see the culture and take in the sites. The smoke would have just been a benefit but I am not sure it’s really worth the trip anymore. I can see what I want to see in pictures and save a hell of a lot of money.


April 27th, 2012
9:29 am

Scratch traveling to Amsterdam from my bucket list.


April 27th, 2012
9:51 am

It won’t work. Probably just a PR stunt.

People are just going to ask a local to grab whatever for them.


April 27th, 2012
9:55 am

Are members of “private clubs” allowed to bring guests?

It will be interesting to see how this works. In the US, at least, calling something a “private club” and requiring some sort of “membership” (even for one day) has been a simple way to get around restrictive alcohol legislation. Anyone remember the five bars here in Atlanta that were open twenty-four hours?


April 27th, 2012
9:55 am

Forgot anyone’s personal opinion about smoking pot, if this happens, it may go down as one of the biggest domestic policy disasters in history. The coffee shops alone account for a $3.2 BILLION industry and over $600 MILLION in tax revenue for the country. A HUGE chunk of this is from tourism.

I’d be willing to bet they rethink this after that tax revenue gets cut by 2/3 after a year. Politicians are the same everywhere.

It’s a shame too because many tourists go for the weed and find out that Amsterdam is a WONDERFUL city with all kinds of old world charm.


April 27th, 2012
9:56 am

Also, c-dog, I can get Amstel and Heineken in my local grocery store. I’m not going overseas for it.

If I want a beer vacation, I’d go to Belgium.

Bulldog Slim

April 27th, 2012
10:05 am

As someone who visited Amsterdam frequently in the 80’s while living in Europe, I know the old “Bulldog Cafe” on the Leidseplein won’t be the same. It was a great place to start and end the day. If the law passes, I guess the locals will now sell it over in Vondelpark.

I'm from Holland....isn't that wierd???

April 27th, 2012
10:07 am

Brilliant move. The marijuana trade will continue in earnest mind you, only now the local governments won’t be able to profit from it. Politicians love to outthink themselves.

No drugs here

April 27th, 2012
10:09 am

Great! Now a huge reason to visit. Unlike the stoners, I don’t live life in a haze preferring to enjoy the culture, museums, and an ability to converse with the locals. They are quite friendly to anyone capable of focusing enough to finish a sentence. Last time I was there, I was embarrassed that so many of the stumbling idiots on the street who could not find a bathroom let alone their mouth to smoke more were weed were predominently Americans.


April 27th, 2012
10:13 am

Tragic news. Smh

Bobby Bobby

April 27th, 2012
10:24 am

I go all the time. Shwarma, krokets and Doner alone are reasons to visit. You will still be able to have 5 grams, smoke in the bars, head shops, and the like. The street dealers are gone now but will return. That will sux. Those guys are selling much more than weed. They do need to clamp down. You smell weed and hasj everywhere these days. Not just red light district. Go people. It’s a great country.


April 27th, 2012
10:53 am

The Heineken in Europe is different then what we get in the US. It’s much better there. Amsterdam locals are sorry for what has happen to their city after the drug bar opened. Crime has gone up, mostly from people visiting the country. But they are at a point of no return, and the tourists will still get into the coffee shops. If not they was just smoke it in the part or one of the boats.

Grob Hahn

April 27th, 2012
11:12 am

When will governments learn that laws will NEVER stop addiction and drug use? What Holland has done will effectively reduce tourism which will reduce revenue which will reduce the number of jobs. While I would never suggest that ALL tourists head there for pot, the number who do is by no means small. It will be interesting to watch the effect this has. Personally, I think the US should establish a specific legal marijuana zone on each coast. It would demonstrate the fiscal feasibility we all know exists.

Alan Gibson

April 27th, 2012
11:13 am

If the true intent of the law had been to prevent smuggling weed out of the country then they would have simply placed a limit on the amount that could be bought per visit. This would have stopped the smuggling, but not harmed the tourist industry. The actual intent of this law appears to be to remove stoned people from the streets. The smuggling issue was just used to counter arguments about lost tourism. I expect now that you can only buy it in ‘clubs’ the next step will be limiting it’s consumption to those premises, and limiting the amount per day.

Oswald Bunch

April 27th, 2012
11:38 am

I went to Amsterdam in ‘09 and let me tell you the Red Light district is full of drop dead gorgeous eastern European girls. Too bad I was too drunk to get it up. Major letdown! I don’t smoke marijuana so this change doesn’t affect me.

Mike Smith

April 27th, 2012
11:52 am

Oswald, maybe you should switch to smoking and stop drinking….
First, you wouldnt have that….um…problem, and second, youd be able to see that those “drop dead gorgeous” girls are not nearly that pretty.

People who think prohibition works should ask themselves a couple of questions. First, if they made pot legal in this country would you smoke it? (If your answer is NO then you dont have a dog in this fight)
The other question is: do you think prohibition prevents anyone who wants to smoke pot from doing so? I know people who have been stoned every day for 25+ years. (full time employed and highly productive, highly compensated, highly stoned individuals)


April 27th, 2012
12:01 pm

Looks like I neeed to work some extra hours to take a trip over this fall.


April 27th, 2012
12:06 pm

I have been to Amsterdam a few times for business. I was told by my Dutch colleagues that only tourists would be caught dead in a coffee shop. Most of these are run by West Africans, so not sure if they are legal residents. I would imagine that most of these places will shut down, and only the top tier will remian.

dirty south bird

April 27th, 2012
12:07 pm

I just performed in the Netherlands…Dec 19 in Utrecht and Dec 20th in AMsterdam @ Jet Lounge. It was an amazing experience and they love our dirty south flavor & treated us like KINGZ!!!!!
I would go back just to visit Rembrandt’s House & Anne Frank’s House & kick it at all the spots Van Go hung out at….but yes wont be the same without the COFFEE

420 Boss

April 27th, 2012
12:12 pm

As a former Weed dealer I used to love the fact that dumb politicians keep weed illegal in any way.

Marijuana Laws + High Demand = MAJOR PROFITS FOR DEALERS…..LMAO @ Politicians

Joey M

April 27th, 2012
12:20 pm

I’ve used this argument and nobody can give me a reasonable rebuttal. If a woman has the “right to choose” when it comes to pregnancy citing “It’s my body”, why can’t I purchase Codene, Marijuana, etc over the counter? It’s my body. My right to choose. And don’t give me the argument that more people will be killed in traffic collisions, alcohol will always lead the world in collisions caused.

Boff Johnson

April 27th, 2012
12:26 pm

just come to Colorado. It is cheaper and we have better buds. You can get your herb and go on a hike instead of sitting in a cafe

c dog

April 27th, 2012
12:48 pm

ben – at least you could visit those distilleries

boff – yea colorado is whats up


April 27th, 2012
12:50 pm

“(and multiple dikes)”

This has been a fantasy of mine for some time. Amsterdam, here I come!


April 27th, 2012
12:58 pm

My gosh you people really need pot just to make Amsterdam interesting to visit?


April 27th, 2012
1:14 pm

Y’know, if we spent half the time we spend worrying about growing dope, smuggling dope, getting dope, smoking dope, legalizing dope, banning dope and jailing dope smokers on REAL problems, we might actually get something accomplished. Face it, this issue’s a dead end for everyone involved.


April 27th, 2012
1:25 pm

No reason to go anymore. We get get Heineken and weed just fine here in the states. I guess if you are into the Van Gough Museum……


April 27th, 2012
1:26 pm

Thank god I live in SAN DIEGO!!!!! Legal here and better quality than those Dutch fruity asses.


April 27th, 2012
2:04 pm

Thats kinda like making casino’s in Las Vegas only open to residents of Vegas.

Pineapple Express

April 27th, 2012
2:06 pm

I think the Dutch legislators have been hitting too much of their own stuff.


April 27th, 2012
2:53 pm

DAMN there goes my dream trip……


April 27th, 2012
2:54 pm

What about the prostitutes? I bet they see less,,,,,um…..”action” too from these tourists?????


April 27th, 2012
6:42 pm

Exactly what problem are they trying to fix? Are the “tourists” spending too much money at the local hotels and restaurants? Are there too many people lining up to see windmills?


April 27th, 2012
6:46 pm

Welcome to weed dealing in the streets. Can’t believe the fuss over this silly plant.


April 27th, 2012
6:47 pm

I know I’m probably preaching to the choir, but it’s Friday night and I’m sitting here with a glass of wine. Between the Braves & Pirates game and the NFL draft, I’m not going anywhere. There are no kids in the house. I’d love to burn a fattie right about now to unwind and enjoy the evening. I’ll have a couple more glasses of wine instead. What’s the freakin’ difference besides the wine will give me a headache, it’s got a bunch of calories I don’t need, and I won’t enjoy it as much?


April 27th, 2012
6:52 pm

Ambien is legal though. I just suppose it depends who stands to profit off something as to how legal it is or isn’t. It’s 2012, just tax it. Stop it from coming across the desert from Mexico. Legal weed, not blood weed.


April 27th, 2012
6:57 pm

The other thing our “legal authorities” don’t realize is that some of us who support legalizing the stuff are over 40 years old and have real jobs. I make a six figure income and I don’t have any intention of becoming a full time stoner. Why should I be “punished” because of their own irrational fears of a slippery slope, especially since this wine is arguably a bigger health hazard?


April 27th, 2012
6:58 pm

There stuff aint that good anyways….

miss the weed

April 27th, 2012
7:27 pm

LewTheDog, I’m right there with ya. I got the house to myself for the entire weekend, and I’d love to burn one, but I want.

I gave up smoking weed some years back, because of the hassle with it being illegal, and having to deal with the unreliable and annoying people who deal it. I’ve never been a big drinker, because of the way it makes me behave and the way I feel afterwards. Weed on the other hand was never an issue for me. I was always productive, happy, and I never once said or did anything I regretted while smoking it. It was never a gate way drug to me, because I simply did not want anything else to influence me other than weed. Our hypocritical government will let you poison yourself with alcohol and tobacco, but weed is just out of the question. Greed (pharmaceutical companies) and ignorance (Bible thumpers and the overly righteous) are the only reasons that weed is not legal.

Bill W

April 27th, 2012
7:32 pm

Idiots! It was a huge money maker for them, but they’d rather not have the cash I guess….Don’t worry, other close by countries will take up the slack.


April 27th, 2012
8:03 pm

When the Dutch tourism business crashes, they will probably reconsider.


April 27th, 2012
8:46 pm

This is not the Netherland’s idea. They are under pressure from their neighbors.