BREAKING NEWS
5-year-old missing, possibly abducted in Palmerston North ... Read more
Close

Amsterdam crackdown on marijuana cafes

Last updated 05:55 24/04/2014

Relevant offers

Europe

Vatican says Catholic bishops not compelled to report sex abuse Thyroid link to higher breast cancer risk - study Man's life destroyed by 'preposterous' sexual assault charge German train crash investigators focus on signal controller - source Huge bunny seeks big home Auckland lifeguards headed to Greece to assist refugee crisis India Chipchase murder: police handling of missing person report under scrutiny Astronaut Tim Peake shares amazing footage of lightning on earth Human error blamed for German train crash that killed ten Cat promoted to senior pest controller at UK train station

Amsterdam has won court permission to ban marijuana cafes in its famous Red Light district, stepping up a crackdown on the city's freewheeling lifestyle.

Marijuana is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but possession of small amounts is not prosecuted and it is sold openly in "coffee shops." Prostitution is legal. But Mayor Eberhard van der Laan argues the district's brothels and coffee shops generate criminality, and he has sought to have many closed.

Coffee shop owners argued that laws were being selectively enforced against them.

In a ruling published on Wednesday (local time), the Amsterdam District Court sided with the mayor, saying he "has the freedom to carry out policies he considers desirable to protect public order."

The city has shuttered 192 out of 482 brothels where prostitutes work behind windows in the Red Light district since 2006, or around 40 percent of the total - after winning court support for its argument that the high concentration of brothels made them hard to regulate. The plan for coffees shops is to close 26 out of the 76 now in business.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content