Dutch town to ban cannabis smoking

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The council of the south-eastern town of Heerlen has announced that a scheduled ban on the smoking of cannabis will go into effect on Thursday as planned.

On Wednesday, the Council of State – the country’s highest administrative court - ruled that local councils should not use by-laws to address problems caused by young people smoking cannabis in public. The Council said that local councils should use existing drug legislation – known in the Netherlands as the Opium Law – for this purpose.

The Heerlen council, which introduced the by-law at the request of the police, said it would like to see the local ban tested in a criminal court. That would happen as soon as someone caught smoking cannabis in public filed an appeal.

According to a council spokesperson, “Then we will see whether the smoking ban can continue to exist in its current form.”

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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