After an only-in-the-Netherlands legal reverse, the city of Amsterdam said on Wednesday it will likely have to stub out the “no toking” signs it introduced in a crackdown on marijuana-smoking youth.
The Dutch government’s top legal adviser ruled that the city had no right to establish official zones where smoking weed is banned, since it’s already theoretically illegal in the Netherlands.
In practice, the possession of small amounts of the drug is allowed and it is sold openly in designated shops.
When the policy was introduced in 2007, the city put up signs to declare the “no toking” zones. The signs portrayed cone-shaped cigarettes being rolled with little marijuana leaves in the background — inside a bold red circle. They were stolen so often as collectors’ items the city opened its own merchandise line and began offering them itself for 90 euros (US$125) apiece.
City spokeswoman Iris Reshef acknowledged Wednesday’s ruling likely means the signs must go, but she said it specified the city can still issue fines to young smokers who cause problems.
“The measures we have taken can remain in place,” Reshef said. “Just the signs cannot be there.”
The signs were originally hung up around an area of one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, called “De Baarsjes,” but residents in a wealthier part of the city also wanted to use the signs, leading to the case being sent to the Council of State.
Since the Amsterdam policy was introduced, other towns and cities have also introduced “no toking” zones.
Amsterdam has long had an image as a freewheeling haven for pot smokers because of its numerous “coffee shops” where marijuana is sold and smoked by locals and tourists alike.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Dark matter, mysterious invisible stuff that makes up most of the mass of galaxies, including the Milky Way, is confounding scientists again, with new observations of distant galaxies conflicting with the current understanding of its nature. Research published this week revealed an unexpected discrepancy between observations of dark matter concentrations in three massive clusters of galaxies encompassing trillions of stars and theoretical computer simulations of how dark matter should be distributed. “Either there is a missing ingredient in the simulations or we have made a fundamental incorrect assumption about the nature of dark matter,” Yale University astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan, a coauthor of