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Europe: Amsterdam to ban cannabis in red light district

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Amsterdam is introducing a new regulation under which it will be illegal to smoke cannabis in its red light district. The regulation will come into effect from mid-May and aim to improve liveability for residents who have long complained of disruption caused by tourists.

According to the local news outlets, almost all councillors supported taking action to reduce nuisance to residents. Sex workers will also have to close their venues at 3am.

Along with banning the cannabis, restaurants and bars would have to close by 2am on Fridays and Saturdays and no new visitors would be allowed into the old city district after 1am. Currently, the sale of alcohol from shops, liquor stores and cafes in the red light district is illegal from Thursday to Sunday after 4pm.

As per the current laws in the Netherlands it is a criminal offence to possess, produce or deal drugs. However, the use of drugs by a person over the age of 18 is not a criminal offence.

Amsterdam council will also launch a "stay away" campaign in the spring to target tourists travelling to the capital for drugs, alcohol and sex purposes.

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