A new ordinance banning the use of cannabis on the streets of Amsterdam’s red light district is due to come into force later this month.
The ban was formally approved by the Amsterdam city council last week and will “go into effect on 25 May and be enforced by the police and local authorities.” According to Bloombergpointed out that violating the new law will result in a fine of €100 (or $109).
The law was proposed by the Amsterdam City Council in February, with local authorities denouncing the “annoying” and “gloomy” atmosphere of the famous district’s nights.
“Old town residents suffer from large numbers of tourists and the abuse of alcohol and drugs on the streets. Tourists also attract street vendors that cause crime and insecurity. “Affected individuals wander around for long periods of time. Residents do not sleep well and neighborhoods become unsafe and difficult to live in,” the city council said in a statement at the time.
“Banning smoking on the street should reduce nuisances. We will consider whether we can ban it,” the council continued.
CNN reported In doing so, the city could consider banning takeaway purchases of soft drugs at certain times and banning marijuana smoking in outdoor seating areas at coffee shops if outdoor smoking has not achieved the desired results. said to do.
“It is estimated that around 10% to 15% of Amsterdam’s tourism industry is based in the Red Light District.” According to CNN. “City officials want the De Wallen district, known in Dutch as the district, to attract tourists who can appreciate its unique heritage, architecture and culture, rather than sex and drugs. , several efforts have been made to reduce the impact of mass tourism and unwanted visitors, and to revamp the image of the area.
In 2020, guided tours will be banned from passing through windows for sex workers, and there are talks of relocating window brothels to districts outside the city center, a debate that continues today. . ”
Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema has made cleaning up the red-light district a priority since he took office nearly five years ago.
Halsema, Amsterdam’s first female mayor, presented four options in 2019 aimed at protecting sex workers from hostile conditions, fighting crime and reducing the impact of tourism in Amsterdam’s De Wallen red light district. bottom”. CNN reported at the time.
“For many visitors, sex workers have become mere spectacles. In some cases, this is accompanied by disruptive behavior and disrespectful attitudes toward the sex workers at the counter,” said Halsema. the office said. As quoted by CNN, This outlines some of the reforms proposed by the mayor.
“There are four scenarios for discussion, including closing window curtains so that sex workers cannot be seen from the street, reducing the number of rooms with windows, relocating brothels to other parts of Amsterdam, and possibly having sex workers. is being created. The plan aims to protect sex workers from spying on tourists and camera phones, and to combat the rise of abuses such as human trafficking. The four proposals will be discussed with sex workers, residents and businesses in July before being submitted to the city council in September. The mayor’s office confirmed that the plan would eventually evolve into a new policy on sex work. ”