In a bid to improve the quality of life for residents, Amsterdam will ban marijuana use on the streets and further discourage alcohol consumption in the Red Light District, the traditional center of the legal trade in sex work.
“Residents of the old town experience a lot of discomfort from mass tourism and alcohol and drug abuse on the street,” the Amsterdam municipality said in a statement. “Tourists also attract street vendors, who in turn promote crime and insecurity. Especially at night, the atmosphere can get gloomy. People who are under the influence [of these substances] also stay longer.”
“Residents cannot sleep well and the neighborhood is becoming unsafe and uninhabitable,” the municipality said.
In addition to the ban on smoking marijuana on the street, Amsterdam said it further discourages the sale of alcohol. This is already prohibited from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. weekends. The city said it will now also require alcohol to be concealed or removed from stores during those hours.
The city said it hoped the smoking ban would reduce nuisance. If it didn’t, the city said it would also consider banning takeout purchases of soft drugs at certain times, and banning the smoking of marijuana in outdoor seating areas of cafeterias.
The resident will have the opportunity to offer his opinion on the new rules through an online forum.