AMSTERDAM — Amsterdam’s mayor said Wednesday he would formally ban students from smoking marijuana at school, making the Dutch capital the first city in the Netherlands to do so.
Eberhard van der Laan’s introduction of a law that in other countries either already exists or seems so obvious it wouldn’t even require a rule is the result of the Netherlands’ unique drugs policy. Under the “tolerance” principle, marijuana is technically illegal here, but police can’t prosecute people for possession of small amounts.
That’s the loophole that made possible Amsterdam’s famed “coffee shops” — cafes where marijuana is sold openly. But it has also had the unwanted side effect that Dutch children are frequently exposed to the drug in public areas.
City spokeswoman Iris Reshef says schools have always forbidden pot, but found it difficult to enforce the policy when students smoked on or near campus and challenged administrators to do anything about it.