Amsterdam to ban pot smoking in red-light district to reduce noise

Photo credit: Skitterphoto

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

Jenny Gross writing in the New York Times, reports that Amsterdam will ban pot smoking on the streets of the city’s red-light district because of resident complaints about noisy and disruptive tourists. According to Gross’ article, rules to limit alcohol in this district are also expected.

The red-light district in Amsterdam draws many tourists. These loud tourists, smoking and drinking in the streets, disturb the residents of the neighborhood. Prostitution businesses are permitted in this area, but they will be cut back by the new rules as will the hours of cafes and restaurants. If the proposed ban does not reduce the noise, the ban might be extended to the terraces of coffee shops that are allowed to sell marijuana.

With marijuana being sold now in New York City, I began to think about the possibility of behavior similar to what noisy tourists in Amsterdam have engaged in related to their smoking pot taking place in certain areas of New York City. This would be a question for any city that allows pot smoking.

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