Smoking weed on the streets of Amsterdam’s inner city will soon be banned, the city’s council has announced. In its red-light district, Amsterdam is prohibiting the smoking of cannabis outdoors. The prohibition is one of a series of adjustments intended to satisfy residents of the popular Amsterdam district, which draws millions of visitors per year.
“Residents of the old city center are structurally and excessively bothered by the crowds and nuisance caused by mass tourism and substance abuse in the public space,” the municipal council stated in a statement released Thursday, 9 February, announcing the decision.
This conduct, according to the council, is “at the expense of the residents’ night’s rest and the quality of life and safety.”
In Amsterdam, prostitution is allowed and cannabis products are sold via coffeeshop cannabis retail dispensaries. Local Dutch authorities are striving to counteract “overtourism,” and are targeting the cannabis industry. Many similar proposals have been made, including Mayor Femke Halesma’s attempt at a complete ban of tourists in coffeeshops, which had previously been rejected by counsel.
Starting Mid-May, Amsterdam Will Ban Cannabis Smoking In Its Red Light District
This prohibition, considered the “Blow Ban”, which will go into force in May, is just one of several changes to Amsterdam’s historic Red Light District. In addition, the government plans to investigate a way to ban the sale of cannabis in the Red Light District between 4 p.m. to 1 a.m..
The ban of cannabis sales between these hours would match the municipalities current ban on alcohol sales. The municipality is reinforcing a rule that forbids the selling of alcohol between Thursday and Sunday after 4 p.m.
The town is also implementing a “window time” for catering establishments that offer alcoholic beverages: no one will be permitted to enter after 1 a.m. These companies will also be required to shut their terraces one hour earlier than usual, at midnight.
The municipal council is also contemplating prohibiting smoking on coffee shop patios in the future. This would result in the loss of some of Amsterdam’s finest outdoor coffeeshop patios.