Amsterdam to ban cannabis smoking in the red light district starting in May

Amsterdam to ban cannabis smoking in the red light district starting in May

Following up on our Amsterdam blog from April 2021 about the mayor’s plan to ban tourists from the famous Dutch coffeeshops, we come to share good and bad news.

Tourists remain welcome in Amsterdam’s famous coffeeshops

The excellent news is tourists are still and will remain to be welcome in the Dutch coffeeshops. Albeit that the city is still worried about too many tourists coming to the city.

The only thing that can be considered bad news is that in a trade-off with the city council, the smoking of cannabis in the red light district will be banned from halfway May.

Amsterdam banning smoking cannabis

In the press release that was released by the city, you can read, loosely translated:

The prohibition on the use of soft drugs (read: cannabis) in public spaces must reduce nuisance. The Commission will also investigate whether a takeaway ban for soft drugs from 4 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday to Sunday is legally feasible and can be enforced. If the nuisance does not decrease sufficiently with the smoking ban, the possibilities of smoking on terraces at coffee shops in the area will also be looked at.

So for now, only an outside cannabis smoking ban will come into force in May. Technically, it’s only in a small part of Amsterdam, the old center (Burgwallen-Oude Zijde). As such, the impact on your visit will be small.

Amsterdam to ban smoking weed in center

I must also note, being a Dutch cannabis lover, smoking cannabis outside in the Netherlands has always been frowned upon. If you want to respect the Dutch and you like coming here, it is recommended to not smoke outside on the (busy) streets. You can do so in a park or somewhere else where nobody is nearby and can’t smell the smoke.

More changes to the Amsterdam coffeeshop policy could be coming

What could impact your stay is if Amsterdam doubles down on the message we quoted earlier from the press release and if they are going to ban the takeaway sales of cannabis from 4 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday to Sunday.

But like they already note themselves, it’s unlikely that these measures are feasible legally and can be enforced.

It would be a shame however if smoking on the few coffeeshop terraces there are left are no longer allowed, but for now you’re still all good.

So come over, be a good tourist and enjoy your stay!

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