Rotterdam bans public blowing

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The appellate court in The Hague has granted Rotterdam permission to forbid blowen, or smoking marijuana, in public place.

The South Holland city found likeminded minds at the court today for its intentions to include the ban on blowing in its General Local Ordinances APV. The appellate court ruled that the city may exercise the ban when people find it unsafe and a nuisance that someone around them is smoking a joint in public. “Then it becomes a matter of public order,” the judges argued. It is the second time a city in the Netherlands is granted permission to ban blowing; the city of Amsterdam had also initiated a similar process last year, after the Council of State withdrew a blowing ban. The Council had argued that forbidding people to smoke a joint was a violation of the opium legislation; something of which possession is already forbidden, cannot be banned again by a city, the Council had said. Amsterdam and Rotterdam found it a dubious decision and initiated test court cases. The appellate court decision brings jurisprudence for other cities to initiate local bans on blowing. A spokesman from the court said the cities will first have to include the ban in their APV’s.