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Amsterdam Will Ditch 'No Toking' Signs

Because technically smoking weed is illegal everywhere
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 13, 2011 1:23 PM CDT
Dutch Government Bans Amersterdam's No-Smoking Marijuana Areas, Signs
In this file photo, a sign prohibiting the smoking of marijuana on the street is seen in Amsterdam, Netherlands.   (PETER DEJONG)

(Newser) – After an only-in-the-Netherlands legal reverse, the city of Amsterdam says it will likely have to stub out the "no toking" signs it introduced in a crackdown on marijuana-smoking youth. The Dutch government's top legal adviser has ruled that the city had no right to establish official zones where smoking weed is banned, since theoretically, it's already illegal. In practice, possession of small amounts is allowed, and the drug is sold openly in designated shops (unless you're a tourist).

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When the signs first went up in 2007, they were stolen so often the city started selling them itself as collectors' items. A city spokeswoman said today's ruling likely means the signs must go, but the city can still fine young smokers who cause problems. (Read more Amsterdam stories.)

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