Ban on Cannabis Smoking Enforced in Amsterdam’s Red Light District

May 15, 2023
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The infamous Red Light District is officially a smoke-free zone for cannabis enthusiasts. Under the new Amsterdam smoking ban, marijuana consumption will be prohibited in outdoor spaces but allowed in designated cannabis coffee shops. 

From now on, individuals caught smoking a fatty in Amsterdam’s central district will face a fine of €100, a spokesperson for the municipality told Bloomberg.

While cannabis is not entirely legal in the Netherlands, possession of up to five grams is decriminalized. Licensed establishments known as coffee shops can sell limited cannabis quantities to individuals who are 18 or older. 

The Amsterdam smoking ban will come into effect from May 25th, 2023. 

Amsterdam’s Mayor Femke Helsama has voiced her concerns about nuisance tourism in the bustling Red Light District. As part of a broader reform to transform the area into a more regulated and orderly environment, Helsama is considering a new location for an “erotic center” away from the district. 

“Residents suffer a lot from mass tourism and alcohol and drug abuse in the street,” Amsterdam’s council said. “Tourists also attract street drug dealers, who in turn cause crime and insecurity. Especially at night, the atmosphere can get grim.”

Earlier this year, Sin City launched a geo-targeted campaign discouraging rowdy British tourists from excessive drinking and drug-fueled visits. The video ads appear to UK users searching for terms such as “stag party in Amsterdam” and “pub crawl Amsterdam.”


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