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Amsterdam bans public cannabis smoking in red-light district

The city's mayor is hoping to curb crime by banning smoking marijuana outdoors. Residents have complained that the tourist-fueled nightlife has made the city unlivable.

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The Dutch capital, famed for its liberal laws on drug use and sex work, has banned the smoking of cannabis on the streets of its red-light district, city authorities said on Friday.

The ban, which will come into effect in mid-May, is seeking to tackle crime and anti-social behavior to improve the quality of life for the area's residents.

Amsterdam is a popular tourist hotspot and its marijuana cafes as well as its brothels and strip clubs draw in millions of visitors every year.

"Residents of the old town suffer a lot from mass tourism and alcohol and drug abuse in the streets", the city said in a statement.

"Tourists also attract street dealers, who in turn cause crime and insecurity," it added.