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Amsterdam Plans to Move Red Light District

Sex workers will be shifted to new 'erotic zone' away from the city center
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2021 5:03 PM CST

(Newser) – Dutch lawmakers have given the green light to plans to move sex workers away from Amsterdam's famous red light district. City councilors from several parties supported Mayor Femke Halsema's proposal to move brothels from the alleyways of the city center, where tourists often stopped to gawk at women in windows waiting for customers, to a new "erotic center" elsewhere in the city, Guardian reports. Amsterdam is currently locked down, and Halsema has been pushing to make it a more upmarket destination when tourists return. "This is about a reset of Amsterdam as a visitor city," says Dutch lawmaker Dennis Boutkan.

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The mayor also wants to ban tourists from buying cannabis in the city's coffee shops, but other lawmakers worry the move would lead to a surge in illegal drug dealing on the street and it has less support than the plan to shift sex workers out of the area. "Banning tourists is very hardcore," a fishmonger tells the BBC. "There are guys who come and say 'We want some fried cod'. We're going to sell a lot less fish to people who are stoned, I don't see a bright side." Police and prosecutors, however, support the proposal to require people to show proof of residency before buying cannabis in Amsterdam. Similar restrictions are already in place in the rest of the country. (Read more Amsterdam stories.)

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