Amsterdam is banning people smoking marijuana in the red light district

Amsterdam is banning people smoking marijuana in the red light district
Amsterdam Bans Cannabis In Its Red Light District

Amsterdam is planning some big changes, starting with banning the smoking of cannabis in the red light district.

The city will introduce the new rules in mid-May in a bid to improve conditions for local residents, who have complained about the anti-social behaviour of tourists for years.

New legislation will also see tourist attraction shut earlier and sex workers now obliged to close their venues by 3am.

The city council announced that restaurants and bars will be forced to shut their doors by 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. No-one will be able to enter the district after 1am.

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Local media reported that almost all councillors supported taking action to combat the disruption caused by visitors.

There are also changes to the sale of alcohol. At present, alcohol sales in the district are illegal from Thursday to Sunday after 4pm.

The new changes will be introduced in the springCreative Commons/FromTheNorth

When the new rules come into force in May, vendors will need to remove alcohol from their shopfronts entirely at that time or hide them from the view of customers.

There is a “toleration policy” that allows coffee shops to sell cannabis under strict conditions. However, it is illegal to possess, produce or deal drugs in the Netherlands.

The city is looking to change perceptions surrounding drugs with a new “stay away” campaign in the spring, targeting tourists specifically travelling to the capital for drugs, alcohol and sex purposes.

Diederik Boomsma, leader of the local Christian Democrat party, welcomed the new measures.

“Some days you can’t even walk around the centre without breathing in the persistent stench of cannabis fumes, with glassy-eyed tourist zombies staggering about,” he told DutchNews.

“That has to stop. (Our) message to tourists: ‘Welcome! But if you’re coming just to snort, swallow or smoke drugs: don’t’.”

Amsterdam is visited by around 18 million tourists per year.

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