News of: Thursday, December 22 2005,

Amsterdam introduces experimental ban marijuana smoking

The city of Amsterdam has introduced a police bylaw to minimize problems with weed smoking youths on the street.

Under the new law the mayor can prohibit the smoking of marijuana in a particular area. The marijuana smoking ban is similar to the alcohol probition that is sometimes used in particular areas or on squares where there are many alcohol addicts.

The marijuana prohibition can be used by the mayor if he thinks it is necessary for keeping the order. As the effectiveness of the measure is unclear, it will be evaluated after a year to see if local weed prohibitions really helped where they were used.

Critics say it is not clear whether there is a relationship between trouble-causing youths and their smoking cannabis, and also the measure could be difficult to enforce: it is simple to throw away a marijuana cigaratte when a policeman approaches.

The fine for smoking marijuana in public where this is prohibited is EUR 45.-