Amsterdam closing coffee shops?

Jan 3rd, 2006, 08:39 AM
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Amsterdam closing coffee shops?

Has anyone heard anything about the possibility of Amsterdam shutting down the marijuana and hashish cafes?
baldworth is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 09:31 AM
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There was an article in our local paper (Philadelphia) the other day about it. It doesn't seem like they're going to close them, just revamp some of the laws. Each shop apparently can only have 500 grams on site. The problem is how to get it there. If their delivery person is stopped on the way to making a delivery, they will get the dope confiscated. So, there's a problem in how the law works.
buongiorno is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 11:54 AM
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Thanks for the info. It doesn't sound like any major changes are coming anytime soon. If anyone has any more or newer info let me know.

baldworth is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 12:25 PM
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Just returned from Amsterdam and talked to a few coffeeshop owners about the Dutch government's desire to subdue the coffeeshop situation, to appease folks like Jacques Chirac and the US who point to the shops being in violation of international treaties the Dutch have signed.
But it ain't gonna happen anytime soon it seems even though the number of coffeeshops in Amsterdam has fallen to about 500 from a peak of about 1,300 a few years ago. No new licenses are being issued and no transfers of ownership are being allowed, according to staff at the Cannabis College, who seem especially erudite in the matter.
what has been bandied about is closing the shops to non-Dutch but this has provoked threats from some other EU citizens to file lawsuits under the EU Rights of Man or some such accord that says individual European states can't discriminate against nationals of other countries. It would be akin to the UK saying only Brits could enter British pubs or only Italians could sip cappuccino in Italian caffes.
So put angst to rest - for the foreseeable future the coffeeshops, in diminished numbers will persist and be open to all. otherwise it would be a return to the Amsterdam days before the coffeeshops when street vendors and the mob controlled the soft drug scene.
The tolerance of the coffeeshops for soft drugs (cannabis and magic mushrooms, which are also sold over the counter in so-called 'Engergy Shops) was done just to keep the unsavory types out of the soft drug business.
In 1995 or thereabouts the Mayor of Amsterdam legalized the coffeeshops and licenses them, requiring them to pay taxes, etc. Shops exceeding the legal amounts sold to an individual - about 5 grams i guess or those serving underaged (under 18) have had their licenses suspended. Other cities all over Holland also did likewise under Dutch law allowing them to tolerate if not strictly legalize the shops. A former border control post near Arnhem actually became a drive-thru cannabis shop for a while - so the Dutch government - currently part Rightists have tried to reign in the shops, especially those ringing its border who appeal mainly to foreigners like the French who flock to places like Maastricht and places near the Belgian/dutch border.
Now i say legal as regards the Mayor of Amsterdam and this will no doubt bring comments that they are not legal - but i use the words i saw at the City of Amsterdam's Historical Museum in their display on the coffeeshops - they said the Mayor legalized the consumption of cannabis inside the shops - legal is the word the city officials in this museum used. The display explains that this has created a back door, front door connundrum where it's still illegal to bring the pot supply into the coffeeshop thru the back door, but legal to consume it inside the shop but illegal to take it out of the shop (though in effect you see people smoking pot all over amsterdam quite unbothered by cops who may pass in front of them.
The real threat to the coffeeshops? The proposed smoke-free movement that is sweeping Europe - even in cafes - now a smokefree coffeeshop? I don't know if that will ever happen either.
If you'd like to see marijuana plants being grown you can pay a few euros at the Cannabis College, which lets you into their subterranean grow room where they legally, by permit can grow five pot plants - humngous plants, a novel sight for me, never having seen plants being grown.
Anyway Amsterdam should present the legal option of getting high on cannabis for years to come - whether that's good or bad i'll leave for debate.
PalQ is offline  
Jan 4th, 2006, 05:18 AM
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Thanks PalQ. I thought that I was getting some information. We are going to Amsterdam this summer and found it hard to believe that the coffee shops were closing. It is part of what gives the city and country its flavor. Thanks again.

baldworth is offline  

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