A marijuana plant in the home of Marcelo Vazquez, a marijuana grower, on the outskirts on the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay, Dec. 9, 2013.
A marijuana plant in the home of Marcelo Vazquez, a marijuana grower, on the outskirts on the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay, Dec. 9, 2013. Matilde Campodonico—AP

Court: Amsterdam Mayor Can Ban Red Light District Pot Shops

Apr 23, 2014

The mayor of Amsterdam has received court approval to ban weed shops in the city. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan believes the shops and brothels promote criminal activity, the Associated Press reports. The mayor has reportedly closed almost half of the brothels in the notoriously debaucherous Red Light District, though prostitution remains legal in the Netherlands. The "coffee shops" that sell marijuana openly may be next. The ruling published on Wednesday says that the mayor “has the freedom to carry out policies he considers desirable to protect public order.” In several cities in the Netherlands, foreigners have been banned from purchasing marijuana as a part of a national law that requires residential status in order to buy weed. Eberhard van der Laan has not imposed that particular law on Amsterdam, because of the potential impact on tourism. However, the mayor reportedly plans to close 26 of the 76 existing pot peddling coffee shops. [AP]

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