Amsterdam Banning Marijuana In Red Light District

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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The city of Amsterdam is banning the use of marijuana in their red light district to stem a growing problem with crime.

The Dutch capital attracts millions of tourists every year who revel in the country’s “wholly liberal and tolerant” attitude towards prostitution, marijuana, truffles and pornography. Though it is technically against the country’s laws to possess, produce, and/or deal drugs, the country has a “toleration policy” that allows local coffee shops to sell cannabis under strict conditions, BBC reported.

Those conditions are about to get stricter.

Several years ago, residents of the city launched a “We Live Here” campaign to remind visitors that though they might have come to party, ordinary people live in the areas frequented by tourists and they should be mindful of that, CNN stated. Frustrated with growing crime, the council is set to launch a “Stay Away” campaign, which “actively” discourages the party mindset.

“Residents of the old city center experience a lot of nuisance from mass tourism and alcohol and drug abuse on the street. Tourists also attract street dealers, who in turn promote criminality and insecurity. Especially at night, the atmosphere can become grim. People who are under the influence also stick around longer. Residents cannot sleep well and the neighborhood is becoming unsafe and unliveable,” the Municipality of Amsterdam announced in a statement Thursday. (RELATED: Marijuana Dispensary Owner On Oakland Crime Surge: ‘I Was Safer Selling Weed On The Streets’)

Amsterdam is also taking measures to discourage the use of alcohol. The city already bans the sale of alcohol after 4:00 p.m. from Thursday to Sunday, but now stores will be required to hide alcohol from view or completely remove it from their stores during those hours.