Amsterdam’s city council has unveiled new regulations that will ban the smoking of cannabis on the streets of the red light district, in a bid to address residents’ concerns about the area’s liveability. The rules will take effect from mid-May and will require sex workers to close their venues at 3am. Most councilors supported the decision to reduce disruption for residents. Restaurants and bars will also have to close by 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, and new visitors will not be allowed into the old city district after 1am. Currently, the sale of alcohol in the red light district is illegal from Thursday to Sunday after 4pm, but the council will now ask vendors to remove or conceal alcohol during this time. The city council also plans to launch a campaign to discourage tourists from visiting the capital for drugs, alcohol, and sex in the spring. Amsterdam is famous for its cannabis cafes and attracts many tourists each year, but locals have complained that drug and alcohol abuse is contributing to rising crime rates. Although the Dutch have a “toleration policy” that permits coffee shops to sell cannabis, they must adhere to strict conditions, including not causing any nuisance.
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