Majority of Dutch councils ban drug use in public

The ban appears to contradict freedoms laid out in the opium law, but could probably be justified in court for controlling potential nuisance
Dutch News (Netherlands)
Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A new survey shows that almost two-thirds of Dutch towns ban drug use in public. Despite the national policy of ‘tolerance’ to certain soft drug use, municipalities are clamping down, especially where there is nuisance;  218 of the 355 councils ban drug use in places like parks, streets and public buildings – sometimes across a whole area, and sometimes in particular problem spots. In 2018 only 151 penalties were issued for drug use in public, totalling €31,000 – almost half of which were doled out in Rotterdam. Jon Schilder, professor of constitutional and administrative law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said: ‘It is completely undesirable that “lower” governmental organisations make something prosecutable that the higher laws did not want to punish.’