As travel restrictions get lighter, this European city wants to ban cannabis tourism
As more people get vaccinated, travel is getting on people’s priority lists. And for cannabis users, there is a specific European travel destination that is likely to be high on the list.
On Wednesday, the European Union announced that it would reopen its borders to vaccinated travelers, including Americans and other countries who have managed to vaccinate significant sections of their population.
The EU will give visitors who have received EU-approved vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson) the opportunity to travel without testing or quarantine. This is great for Americans who have been vaccinated and who may feel like traveling and trying different things after living in pandemic conditions for a year.
Photo by Jeff W via Unsplash
When it comes to marijuana, enthusiasts may need to reconsider a trip to Amsterdam, a city that has been one of the world’s greenest travel destinations for decades. In January the city’s mayor, Femke Halsema, said she might consider banning marijuana tourism in the country so that only city residents can participate in cannabis-related activities.
RELATED: International Travel: This is where experts predict they’ll go back to normal
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, received over a million tourists every month – most of them hoping to stop at one of the city’s infamous cafes.
Photo by Flickr user Dominic Milton Trott
“Coffee shops, especially in the center, are mostly run by tourists,” said Halsema. “The increase in tourism has only increased demand and in doing so has attracted hard drug crime. We can be an open, hospitable and tolerant city, but also a city that makes life difficult for criminals and slows down mass tourism. “
RELATED: Brexit Fallout: British Nationals Banned From Amsterdam’s Cannabis Coffeehouses
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Netherlands is currently a level 4 risk target when it comes to COVID-19. “Given the current situation in the Netherlands, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk of receiving and spreading COVID-19 variants and they should avoid all travel to the Netherlands,” explains the CDC.
While the cannabis industry has been beneficial to Amsterdam, generating revenue, keeping pharmacies running, and spreading a culture of fun and freedom, concerns about COVID-19 could lead the mayor to adopt a more conservative stance. This could be the push the city needs to protect the further spread of COVID-19 infections and control drug-related crime.