In order to reduce crime rates, the Amsterdam City Council has decided to ban smoking marijuana outdoors in the red-light district. Residents have been complaining that because of the tourist nightlife, the city has become uninhabitable. The law will come into force in mid-May.
The initiative comes from the first female mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, who plans to make the city more comfortable for its residents. The majority of the council members supported the adoption of measures to reduce inconveniences for residents, local media reported.
Residents of the old town suffer a lot from mass tourism and alcohol and drug abuse in the streets. Tourists also attract street dealers, who in turn cause crime and insecurity.Amsterdam City Council
Public cannabis smoking will be banned on the streets along the canals, where the city’s sex shops and strip clubs are located. If the laws do not have the planned effect, the city said that in the future it may extend the rule to the terraces of marijuana selling cafes.
Cannabis cafes in the capital of the Netherlands attract millions of tourists every year, but locals, however, are unhappy with street vendors and drug and alcohol abuse, which increases crime rates. Therefore, additional measures were being introduced.
According to the new rules, sex workers will have to close their establishments by 3 am, restaurants and bars will only work until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays, and tourists will not be allowed to enter the city’s old district after 1 am.
The sale of alcohol in the red light district is already prohibited from Thursday to Sunday after 4 pm and alcohol consumption is prohibited in almost all public places in the Dutch capital. However, according to the new rules, sellers now need to completly remove alcohol from shop windows in the evening.
Furthermore, a ‘Stay Away’ campaign will be launched in the spring at the initiative of the city council. Its aim is to discourage tourists who only visit the capital for the purpose of using drugs, drinking alcohol, and having sex.
The new rules, called a “historic intervention” by Dutch newspaper Het Parool, are part of a broader campaign to tackle the city’s “huge anti-social behaviour”.