Amsterdam Is Banning Outdoor Weed Smoking in Its Most Iconic District

The city is taking measures to make the neighborhood safer.

In an unexpected turn of events that we, quite frankly, are still struggling to believe, it might actually become easier for you to light up a blunt on the NYC streets than Amsterdam's.

While the Big Apple recently took the legalization highway, the city of Amsterdam, which is famous for its relatively lax drug use regulations, is now backpedaling on weed use. Amsterdam has recently announced that it is banning smoking marijuana outside in its red light district.

The new rules, which CNN says are set to go into effect in May, are part of a larger plan to improve the neighborhood and make it safer and more livable for local residents, Reuters reports.

"Residents of the old city center experience a lot of nuisance from mass tourism and alcohol and drug abuse on the street," the Municipality of Amsterdam said in a statement, according to CNN. "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 unlivable."

Purchasing weed is currently legal in Amsterdam, and those wishing to get some for themselves can do so at coffee shops, where they often are allowed to smoke inside, too. Yet, if the new red light district rules don't bring about the improvements Amsterdam is seeking, the city might consider adopting further and stricter measures. For starters, it might ban smoking inside coffee shops as well, CNN reports. Additionally, the city might put a limit to the amount of soft drugs that visitors can purchase at coffee shops.

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.