New restrictions on marijuana selling cafés, a ban on the sale of magic mushrooms and plans to clean up Amsterdam’s red light district have been announced across Holland.
“The nation’s ideals are being tested by the reality they brought,” said sociologist Dick Houtman of Rotterdam’s Erasmus University.
“The Netherlands went further in allowing all sorts of liberties than many other countries. The test is severe. There is a feeling that our tolerance is the principal cause of many of the problems we experience now. The debate is about where liberty and tolerance should end and where order should begin.”
A national ban on hallucinogenic “padda” or magic mushrooms entered into force on Dec 1 after being blamed for the death last March of a 17-year old French girl, a drug tourist to Amsterdam.