In 2010, 21 coffeeshops in Amsterdam were located within that distance from a school.
In the Netherlands ‘coffeeshops‘ are places where cannabis is legally sold and used. Most of them brew a fine cup of coffee as well, but don’t mistake these establishments for family-friendly coffeehouses.
Currently there are 164 coffeeshops in Amsterdam. That means Amsterdam is still the coffeeshop capital of the world.
Mind you, back in 1995 there were 350 shops. In 2015 the number was reduced to 198.
Amsterdam’s policy is to have 160 coffeeshops in total.
At this time, June 2020, it is still possible for tourists to visit these stores. However, in the city’s fight against both overtourism and low-quality tourism, there is a bit of push toward legislation that would ban tourists from coffeeshops.
Amsterdam remains opposed to plans by the Dutch government to introduce a pass card/membership system for coffeeshops — establishments where customers can legally purchase and use marijuana and other soft drugs.
The Dutch wants coffeeshops to become private clubs accessible only to adult residents of the Netherlands. Members would be registered for a pass card system, and tourists would be banned.
The coalition agreement of the new Dutch cabinet says that coffeeshops should become private clubs accessible only to adult citizens of the Netherlands. Members would be registered for a pass card system, and tourists will be barred.
Among other measures the new government plans to transform coffeeshops into private clubs with membership available only to Dutch citizens.
According to the Municipality of Amsterdam the large number of coffeeshops in the center of town create an infrastructure that encourages criminality. The City refers to such establishments as ‘crimogene‘ — a term used to describe functions that encourage ‘promotion or advancement of — or susceptibility to — criminality.’
The closures are part of the Coalition Project 1012, designed to spruce up downtown Amsterdam by — among other things — breaking the influence of organized crime.
In doing so, Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen “reluctantly” follows up a federal government directive to establish ‘distance criteria’ between schools and coffeeshops.
The coffeeshops — establishments where cannabis and other soft drugs can be legally bought and used — are under fire for various reasons, ranging from the nuisance created by tens of thousands of drug tourists, to ties to criminal organizations.
The mayors of some municipalities are closing the coffeeshops, while those of others towns — Amsterdam included — speak out in support of the current approach.