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Amsterdam’s mayor, Eberhard van der Laan, has announced that he will ban students from smoking marijuana in schools.
Although this seems like an obvious idea, Amsterdam has a very different policy than the United States. Their “tolerance” principle allows people to possess small amounts of marijuana without being prosecuted.
Cafes and coffee shops in Amsterdam are popular tourist attractions because they are one of the few places where marijuana is sold freely in the open, without consequence.
According to BBC News, 1.5 million people visit Amsterdam each year to use cannabis. This is a large chunk of their tourism – a third of their total visitors.
The ban is not aimed at adults and tourists, but rather, protecting the children.
The Associated Press reports that as of January 1, the city will create “no toking zones”, much like the United States’ “no smoking” zones in schools and playgrounds.
These will be created under a public nuisance ordinance, so police will be able to fine anyone who is caught breaking the rules.