Dutch flock to coffee shops after announcement of their closure
After toilet paper and pasta ... cannabis: Dutch cannabis smokers lined up in front of coffee shops on Sunday to stock up one last time before the closure ordered by the authorities in order to fight against the coronavirus epidemic.
In single file, customers waited patiently in the hope of making their reservations before the coffee shops lowered their curtains for an unknown length of time that could be counted in weeks.
The Dutch government ordered the closure from 18 p.m. on Sunday of all schools, bars, restaurants, brothels ... and coffee shops, in order to control the progress of the coronavirus pandemic.
As famous in the world as Amsterdam's red light district, the coffee shops closed at 18 p.m.
"We won't be able to have any more weed for the next two months possibly, so it would be nice to have some at home," said Jonathan, a Dutchman met outside a coffee shop in The Hague, warned by a friend of the announcement made by the government.
After the joint press conference of the Minister of Health and the Minister of Education announcing the closure of many shops and schools, queues formed in a few minutes in front of the establishments.
Many photos of these queues in front of coffee shops in Amsterdam, on the German border, or in the historic student city of Utrecht, were visible on social networks.
“In case we have weeks or months to stay at home, I wouldn't be against a little weed. Forties, it can be long… ”, testifies Hannah who rushed down from her house and found herself facing“ this queue of 30 people, with cars arriving ”.
Although theoretically illegal, the sale and consumption of a maximum of five grams of cannabis per person has been tolerated in the Netherlands since 1976 in coffee shops while cultivation and wholesale remain prohibited and are in the hands of criminal groups.
The Hague (AFP) - © 2020 AFP