[Editor’s note: At the end of 2011, the coffee shops of Amsterdam will no longer be open to foreigners. According to the Atlantic Wire, a letter from health and justice ministers to the Dutch parliament says the change is meant to combat drug trafficking and criminality associated with the shops.
Coffee shops will operate as private clubs with as many as 1,500 members who must be Dutch citizens. No word yet on whether those members will create their own black market catering to tourists, but it seems likely. I wonder what penalty citizens selling to desperate tourists will face, but given the general propensity against incarceration, if there’s any punishment, it’s likely to be a fine. In any case, stories like the one you’re about to read will be a thing of the past. –Kate Sedgwick]