Amsterdam does not allow foreigners to buy cannabis according to plans of the mayor of the city shortly after her deputy-announced tours to see how prostitutes pose in windows in the red-light district are ‘sexless’ for sex workers and will be banned from 1 April.
Mayor Femke Halsema seeks political support to prevent foreigners from visiting to get high, after an investigation found that 34 percent of tourists and 42 percent of Britons choose not to visit the Singel area if the drug was not available in coffee shops.
Cannabis is currently available in coffee shops in Singel, Amsterdam, where the red-light district is located and prostitution is also permitted.
Guided tours of the legal prostitution zone, which may have been regarded as ‘disrespectful’ for sex workers by Deputy Mayor Victor Everhardt, will be blocked from 1 April.
A June 2015 file photo shows an image of two coffee shops in the Singel area in Amsterdam. Cannabis is currently available in coffee shops in Singel, Amsterdam, where the red-light district is located and prostitution is also permitted
A portrait of October 2018 shows the mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema. Halsema’s plan to ban tourists from buying cannabis in Singel is part of a planned overhaul of drug use in the city
In this Friday March 29, 2019, file photo, tourists look at the windows of homes in the red-light district in Amsterdam
A surveyed 11 percent of tourists said they would never visit the city again if cannabis was banned, according to research by the research, information and statistics office in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam wants to prevent foreign tourists, known as noisy in the red-light districts, from being drawn to the city center.
“For British visitors, coffee shops are by far the most frequently mentioned main reason to come to Amsterdam (33 percent),” the organization told the Guardian.
‘They call walking or cycling through the city less often the most important reason (21 percent) than the average (32 percent) and, on the other hand, more often indicate that a cheap trip was the most important reason (11 percent compared with 6 percent on average). “
The results were submitted by Haselma to the legislators in a document announcing its plans to revise drug policies in the Dutch capital.
In addition to the ban on foreign tourists, the document said that she “is looking for a study this year to reduce the attraction of cannabis to tourists and the (local) regulation of the back door”.
A 2019 file photo shows tourists gathering along a road in the red-light district.
Although cannabis is tolerated in the Netherlands, crop production is illegal and often leads to coffee shops that supply through the ‘back door’ and deal with criminal organizations.
Haselma added that she wants “a clear separation of markets between hard and soft drugs,” due to the increasing use of drugs in the city.
According to a report commissioned by the city, The Other Side of Amsterdam, the city will become a safe haven for harder drug users and fraudsters.
“Amsterdam has given free rein … to a colorful crew of drug criminals, a circle of deceivers and parasites, midmen and blackmailers, dubious notaries and realtors,” the report said.
At the bottom are “criminal footmen such as scooter and taxi drivers and even youthful courier boys who are going to follow a decent career path: offering murder as a service.”
The local government in Amsterdam has banned guided tours that take groups past the famous windows in the red-light district of the city, where visitors watch semi-naked sex workers pose.
The step to forbid tours that take groups past the famous windows in the red-light district of the city where visitors look at posing semi-naked sex workers is part of the city council’s last attempt to tackle over-tourism, protect workers and The Dutch clean up the red-light district of the capital, which is a magnet for noisy visitors.
Sex workers are regularly abused and photographed without their permission by members of travel groups, the city said.
“Treating sex workers as a tourist attraction is irreverent,” said Vice Mayor Victor Everhardt.
Guided tours of the red-light district are still allowed if guides adhere to the new restriction, which comes into effect in April, and keep the windows off their routes.
Around 115 guided tours of the neighborhood pass daily.
The city said research has shown that the high number of visitors hinders more than half of the residents and businesses in the area.
Banning group tours through the red-light district windows “will help to prevent disruptions for residents and businesses,” Everhardt said.
Amsterdam has been struggling for years with a negative side because too many people are pushing the canal paths from the historic heart of the city, including the red-light district.