Netherlands Marijuana

December 12, 2012 - 8:33 AM
Two men and a child cross a street as a sign prohibiting the use of marijuana in a designated area, top, is seen in Amsterdam, Wednesday Dec. 12, 2012. Amsterdam’s mayor Eeberhard van der Laan said Wednesday he would formally ban students from smoking marijuana at school as of Jan. 1, 2013, making the the Dutch capital the first city in the Netherlands to do so. 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. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)