News of: Thursday, May 24 2007,

Number of coffeeshops in Amsterdam down with 30 percent

Statistics show that the number of coffeeshops in Amsterdam (the ones where you can buy soft drugs) has gone down from 350 in 1995 to 241 now.

The sale of softdrugs is tolerated in the coffeeshops, but the rules are strict. A coffeeshop has to close if the rules are broken 3 times. When a coffeeshop is closed, a new one is not allowed to open (extinction policy).

In April of this year the coffeeshops where smoking and drinking alcohol was allowed had to choose between becoming a regular pub (with alcohol sales, but no drugs), or a coffeeshop. This measure also reduced the number of coffeeshops.

The new government has announced that coffeeshops that are within 500 meters of a school also have to close. This would mean closure of 93% of the Amsterdam coffeeshops. It is uncertain whether the national rule will be strictly applied in Amsterdam.

Figures show that 30% of all visiting tourists go to a coffeeshop, so coffeeshops are important for the tourism to Amsterdam.