Amsterdam's famous red-light district has implemented a smoke-free policy for cannabis users as of May 25. This means that consuming cannabis in public outdoor areas in the city center is prohibited, and is limited to cannabis coffee shops. The ban applies to specific areas including Dam Square, the Damrak, the Nieuwenmarkt, and the Red Light District.
The decision to enforce this crackdown comes after numerous complaints from residents about the disruptive behavior of the city's 18 million annual visitors. Under the new regulations, individuals caught smoking in public spaces within these areas will receive a warning. If they ignore the warning, they will face a penalty of a 100€ fine.
In February, Amsterdam's civic body announced plans to restrict cannabis consumption in certain parts of the city, with a focus on managing the behavior of rowdy tourists. While the new rules apply to both locals and visitors, the primary objective is to address the negative impact caused by intoxicated tourists on the quality of life for residents.
Over the years, Amsterdam's lenient approach to cannabis and other soft drugs has led to unpleasant situations in various neighborhoods. The behavior of large crowds under the influence has been detrimental to the well-being of local residents.
Currently, Amsterdam's smoking ban on cannabis consumption does not extend to outdoor areas of coffee shops. However, authorities may consider implementing a ban on smoking at coffee shop terraces if the issue persists and is not effectively resolved.