Amsterdam city authorities announced Friday that smoking cannabis in the streets of the red-light district will be banned from mid-May as part of an effort to curb criminal and anti-social behavior.
The measures come in a broader effort by local authorities to limit drinking hours and bring earlier closing times for cafes, bars, restaurants and brothels to crack down on the problem of “monstrous anti-social behaviour.”
Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, and Amsterdam’s city center brothels rank among the tourist attractions.
However, urban crime is on the rise in parts of the city that attract young night owls, so police have labeled the area a “miserable square kilometer” in recent years.
Dutch law allows the sale of cannabis in coffee shops, subject to strict conditions, but it is a crime to possess, sell or manufacture more than 5 grams of the drug.
Residents are “extremely upset by the mass tourism and the abuse of alcohol and drugs on the streets”, especially at night, the municipality said in a statement.
“Tourists are equally attractive to street vendors, which leads to criminal activity and unrest,” the statement added.
If the latest restrictions don’t have the desired effect, officials have warned they will extend them to coffee shop terraces.
https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/amsterdam-bans-cannabis-on-red-light-district-streets-523143/ Amsterdam bans cannabis in streets of red-light district