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Amsterdam bans cannabis at Red Light District

Amsterdam bans cannabis at Red Light District 

In their latest effort to rein in carousing visitors, Amsterdam officials announced plans this week to tamp down disruptive behavior in the city’s Red Light District, including barring pot-smoking on the streets, reducing hours for restaurants and brothels, and tightening some alcohol restrictions.

The rules are meant to ease the impact of hordes of sometimes-rowdy tourists on people who live in the area. An announcement from the city council referenced an alcohol- and drug-fueled atmosphere at night that makes the neighborhood unsafe and prevents residents from sleeping.

Officials are taking public comments on many of the proposed measures for the next four weeks before finalizing amendments to municipal bylaws.

Under the measures announced Thursday, the smoking ban would go into effect in mid-May. The city could take more action if the ban doesn’t go far enough to reduce nuisance behavior.

Also under consideration: banning to-go sales of drugs at coffee shops at certain times and potentially restricting smoking on cafe terraces.

The Netherlands has a tolerance policy for weed, meaning people will not be prosecuted for buying up to five grams of cannabis, which is classified as a “soft drug” and sold in coffee shops. Only visitors 18 and older can enter cannabis cafes, which are not allowed to sell alcohol. While weed can be consumed in coffee shops, most clubs or bars do not allow people to smoke pot on-site. [Read More @ The Washington Post]

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