Amsterdam is currently on a mission to close down many of its coffeeshops in 2017, as some of them are too close to schools, following a policy called ‘Project 1012’, referring to a downtown postal code and one of their next targets is the city’s oldest coffeeshop, Mellow Yellow opened in 1972, albeit at another location.
The mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan made a deal back in 2011 with the Dutch government that if they didn’t force him to make Amsterdam coffeeshops register foreign patrons he would close down coffeeshops that were less than 250 metres from schools. However, a report from the Bonger Institute of Criminology says the remaining coffeeshops are now so overcrowded that they have twice as many patrons with people queueing outside to get in, which is disruptive.
Then there’s stories about coffeeshops allowed to stay open because schools are either closing or moving, and when a school moves then other coffeeshops may all of a sudden have a problem. And there’s the story of a coffeeshop not having to close after all because someone measured the 250 metres incorrectly. Oh, and there are newspaper articles about coffeeshops being shot at and closed temporarily, so that the actual number of coffeeshops in Amsterdam is never quite right.
Goodbye Mellow Yellow, 1972-2017, the experts think you should stay open, but not the city who doesn’t want to see the new problems caused by shutting the likes of you down.