Pot-loving Euro-trippers, start checking Priceline if you want one final hurrah in Dutch "coffeeshops"—the Netherlands are poised to start banning tourists from cannabis-selling cafes with the goal of "combating drug tourism and the accompanying public nuisance." What will Woody Harrelson do?!
The Dutch government, fed up with uncouth spring-breakers visiting their beautiful country for the sole purpose of getting stoned and puking in public, has been considering banning tourists for quite some time now. The solution involves requiring a nationals-only "cannabis card" or "weed pass" to visit the country's 670 licensed coffee shops, a move which some critics say will only increase crime in the country. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Mark Rutte is rolling out Phase I of the ban, which will affect the southern provinces of Limburg, North-Brabant and Zeeland, starting January 1.
While the ban does not currently include the city of Amsterdam, a justice ministry spokeswoman said that the measure will include the entire country by 2013. "The Cabinet expects that closure of coffee shops to foreign drugs tourists will ensure that they no longer travel to the Netherlands to purchase and consume cannabis. After all, many of them can use the illegal markets available in their immediate surroundings," the ministry said in a statement earlier this year. Of course, the tourist pot ban won't have any impact Holland's tourist revenue, which, as we all know, isn't driven by drugs and vice, but by the thrilling annual Tulip Festival!