Amsterdam is apparently tired of its reputation as the European capital of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.
The deputy mayor of Amsterdam, Sofyan Mbarki recently announced a set of policy proposals to tackle what he calls the “tourist nuisance,” which seeks to keep visitors from swarming to the city for hedonistic vacations. Amsterdam’s Mayor Femke Halsema set this train in motion with a proposed tourism cannabis cafe ban in April.
‘Discouragement’ And ‘Stay Away’ Campaigns
The ‘discouragement campaign,” set to launch in spring 2023, seeks to ban cannabis consumption in public places, possibly halt or limit weekend weed sales and reduce organized pub crawls as well as window prostitution in the red-light district by moving brothel windows away from the city’s main train station.
The initiative focuses on “actively discouraging international visitors with plans to ‘go wild’ in Amsterdam,” which has been dubbed the ‘stay away’ campaign.
“Some businesses misuse Amsterdam’s image to sell it as a place of ‘unlimited possibilities. As a result, some groups of visitors think of it as a city where anything goes,” Mbarki said in a statement. “This kind of tourism, as well as offerings specifically targeting these groups, is not considered desirable by the Municipal Executive.”
The policy proposals, part of a broader initiative to address mass tourism, must pass a vote by the city council on December 21 before they are enacted.
Meanwhile, In The UK
First-time cocaine and cannabis users will not be prosecuted, but instead offered education or treatment programs under proposals being drawn up by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing.
As in the case in Portugal, police officers would agree to take no further action against those caught possessing illegal drugs for the first time.
The plan, however, is already seen as controversial, reported The Daily Mail, as it pits the police and public health officials against the government, which is seeking a ‘three strikes’ approach to recreational drug use. The Tory government’s option, if approved, could mean recreational drug and cannabis users could be banned from foreign travel, disqualified from driving or electronically tagged.
Critics have called the government proposal too rigid for first-time offenders, noting that confiscating passports makes their punishment tougher than for robbers or more serious criminals.
Photo by Alicja Ziajowska on Unsplash
Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.