Friday, July 15, 2011

'No toking' signs banned in Amsterdam

  • 14 July 2011, 9:21

'No toking' signs banned in Amsterdam

No toking sign /PA
Legal experts in Holland have told Amsterdam to take down signs banning the smoking of marijuana.
The city put up signs in "no toking" zones of the city four years ago in an attempt to crackdown on marijuana-smoking youth.
But the Dutch government's top legal adviser has now ruled that the city had no right to establish the zones - as smoking cannabis is already theoretically illegal.
In practice, possession of small amounts of the drug is allowed in the city, and it is sold and smoked openly in designated 'coffee shops'.
The signs portray a cannabis joint, with little marijuana leaves in the background, inside a bold red circle.
They were stolen so often as collectors' items that the city opened its own merchandise line and began offering them for £80.
Amsterdam city spokeswoman Iris Reshef acknowledged the ruling probably meant the signs would have to go - but she said the city could still issue fines to smokers.
"The measures we have taken can remain in place," Ms Reshef said. "Just the signs cannot be there."
Since the Amsterdam policy was introduced, other Dutch towns and cities have also introduced "no toking" zones.

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