Still no fines issued since Amsterdam banned smoking weed on Red Light District streets
Amsterdam hasn’t issued a single fine for smoking weed on the Red Light District streets since implementing its “blowverbod” on May 25. And it’s not because people are adhering to the ban, locals told Parool. According to them, the city center overflowed with tourists like always this summer, and many smoked joints outside.
The ban on smoking weed on the city center streets is intended to improve the quality of life in the Red Light District and make it less attractive to tourists. Anyone caught lighting up a joint on the street can be fined 100 euros. But in the three months since the ban’s implementation, city enforcers issued not a single fine and only gave 40 warnings.
According to a spokesperson for Mayor Femke Halsema, enforcers first talk to people caught lighting up a joint, and those conversations are not recorded. A warning or fine only follows if they keep violating the rules. “The picture so far has always been that people listen carefully when spoken to and put out their joint,” the spokesperson told Parool.
However, local residents and entrepreneurs have a different experience. They told the newspaper that they saw few enforcers on the street during the summer, and the entire city center smelled like cannabis like every summer.
“And when we did see enforcers, they did little. We didn’t notice it much,” a local entrepreneur said.
A resident added: “They were more likely to approach us for drinking a beer on our sidewalk, which is allowed, than to point out the weed smoking ban to tourists. Nothing has changed.”