We here at Gothamist are not normally in the business of international news unless it is of the utmost political and social importance. Which this story obviously is: The Dutch government has decided that they've had it up to here with stoned tourists using their cities as a backdrop for their perpetual spring break, and may soon decide that only those with a national passport can smoke their pot. Which means we'll now just have to visit for their beautiful scenery, interesting museums and great food. Oh, and the red light district.
In December, the European Court of Justice ruled that the Dutch city of Maastricht was within its rights when it banned foreigners from cafes that sold marijuana. That restriction is justified by the objective of combating drug tourism and the accompanying public nuisance,” the court said. Now, the country is reportedly considering the ban on a national level, banning those without national passports from their "coffee shops." Opponents have appealed the legislation on the grounds that it is illegal to discriminate based on nationality. One cafe owner also said, "Foreigners will be obliged to look for their grass on the street. It is because of the prohibitionist policies of other countries that we have all of these problems here in Holland."
However, the loss to tourism may not be so bad. One Chicago travel agent says, “Tourists who are mainly traveling to Amsterdam or the Netherlands solely to smoke marijuana tend to be younger, college-aged travelers who do not spend much while on vacation. They do not stay in major hotels, they are mostly backpackers." But the Mayor of Maastrict says they're still a nuisance: "They block streets in the city centre, they don't respect parking rules, they are noisy and, when they go from one coffee shop to another, they urinate and vomit in the street." Huh, sounds like the East Village at 2 a.m. on a Saturday. Deal with it, Netherlands.