Amsterdam plans to ban weed from Red Light District streets


In their newest effort to rein in carousing guests, Amsterdam officers introduced plans this week to tamp down disruptive conduct within the metropolis’s Red Light District, together with barring pot-smoking on the streets, decreasing hours for eating places and brothels, and tightening some alcohol restrictions.

The guidelines are supposed to ease the influence of hordes of sometimes-rowdy vacationers on individuals who dwell within the space. An announcement from town council referenced an alcohol- and drug-fueled environment at night time that makes the neighborhood unsafe and prevents residents from sleeping.

Officials are taking public feedback on lots of the proposed measures for the subsequent 4 weeks earlier than finalizing amendments to municipal bylaws.

Under the measures introduced Thursday, the smoking ban would go into impact in mid-May. The metropolis might take extra motion if the ban doesn’t go far sufficient to cut back nuisance conduct.

Also into account: banning to-go gross sales of medication at espresso outlets at sure instances and probably limiting smoking on cafe terraces.

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The Netherlands has a tolerance coverage for weed, that means individuals is not going to be prosecuted for purchasing as much as 5 grams of hashish, which is assessed as a “soft drug” and offered in espresso outlets. Only guests 18 and older can enter hashish cafes, which aren’t allowed to promote alcohol. While weed could be consumed in espresso outlets, most golf equipment or bars don’t permit individuals to smoke pot on-site.

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The metropolis points permits for brothels and intercourse golf equipment to function. Under guidelines that had already been determined, brothels will solely have the ability to keep open till 3 a.m., not the 6 a.m. closing time in place now. Restaurants and intercourse institutions with catering licenses must shut at 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, quite than 3 or 4 a.m.

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No new guests could be allowed into companies with a catering license after 1 a.m., the English-language publication NL Times reported. The time modifications would go into impact April 1, the publication mentioned.

Officials additionally wish to shut terraces at 1 a.m. in the summertime, a change from the earlier closing time of two a.m.

Alcohol gross sales at shops and cafeterias within the district will proceed to be blocked beginning at 4 p.m. from Thursday by Sunday. The metropolis says alcohol shows should even be faraway from the outlets or hidden from view. Visitors are already not allowed to drink on the streets.

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Amsterdam has tried for years to deal with overtourism issues, limiting some excursions of the historic Red Light District earlier than the pandemic and voting to maneuver intercourse employees to an erotic heart outdoors of the district in 2021. According to a November story within the Guardian, nonetheless, residents of the proposed neighborhoods for relocation don’t need the companies — and the employees additionally don’t wish to transfer.

Late final yr, authorities mentioned they deliberate to take steps to fight tourism issues, together with limiting river cruises, curbing rowdy bachelor events, cracking down on organized pub crawls and taking different measures. Part of the plan included a number of the guidelines introduced this week, resembling decreasing hours for intercourse companies and catering institutions and banning smoking in some elements of town.

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A marketing campaign is anticipated to begin this yr discouraging international guests who wish to occasion laborious within the metropolis.

“Amsterdammers live in every neighbourhood, including the Red Light District and Leidseplein,” the official customer data web site I amsterdam says. “Limit noise and drunkenness, clean up your mess and don’t pee in the canals. Keep in mind the locals and they will welcome you with open arms.”

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