Amsterdam is weeding out cannabis in its infamous red-light district, soon making it illegal in an effort to discourage tourists from overindulging and ease locals’ misery.
Some might say that Amsterdam without weed is like a bike without wheels, so what is the point? But I can assure you, there are other legal ways to catch the high you’re looking for, like enjoying a boat ride through the canals and getting high off canal water and the wind in your hair.
The narrow streets of Amsterdam attracted more than 18 million visitors last year, and locals have complained numerous times that the city’s busiest area – the red-light district – has become inhospitable and unpleasant for them.
When does this ban go into effect?
In response to the resident’s worries, the city council shared plans to outlaw smoking marijuana in public in mid-May, adding that it was prepared to consider expanding the ban to cannabis “coffeeshops” in the district if necessary.
“Residents of the old town suffer a lot from mass tourism and alcohol and drug abuse in the street,” shared the council. Adding, “Tourists also attract street drug dealers, who, in turn, cause crime and insecurity. Especially at night, the atmosphere can get grim.”
To curb disturbance caused by unruly visitors, the ban is part of a new set of measures under Amsterdam’s “stay away” campaign. The new rules will also restrict sex work and alcohol sales during certain hours. Traditionally, bars and restaurants in the inner city stay open until 6 am, but now they must close by 2 am, putting an early end to all the “fun.”