Amsterdam is known for many things: incredible museums, pretty canals, colourful Dutch Baroque buildings – and, of course, weed. As much a part of the city’s culture as Van Gogh and bitterballen, cannabis is legally sold at the many cosy Amsterdam coffeeshops, which bring in thousands of visitors a year.
But in an ongoing effort to make the city more liveable for residents, the city has announced it will soon make it illegal to smoke weed on the street in the red light district, also known as De Wallen.
The ban is part of a new set of measures that will crack down on the disturbance caused by unruly visitors. The new rules will also clamp down on sex work and the sale of alcohol during certain hours. Bars and restaurants in the inner city will now have to shut by 2am and brothels, which traditionally stay open until 6am, will now need to shut up shop by 3am.
It all comes hot on the heels of Amsterdam announcing a new ‘stay away’ campaign, which aims to deter rowdy tourists. Banning tourists from coffeeshops entirely has also been in the pipeline for a while, but these new measures are the first serious effort from the city to crack down on drugs tourism. If the laws don’t work, it’s been reported that smoking cannabis on the terraces of coffeeshops could be banned next.
The new laws are set to come into effect from mid-May. Sorry, stoners!
Did you see that Amsterdam and Barcelona could soon be linked by high-speed train?
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