Photograph: Wikimedia Commons, JonRichfield

Anyone who publicly starts a joint in our city may be hit with a fine. Mayor Krikke recently announced a blowverbod (‘blowing ban’) in thirteen areas of The Hague, with immediate effect.

In places such as the inner city, around the central station, the Laakkwartier and in and around the Zuiderpark it is now forbidden to use soft drugs in public. At the places where the smoking ban has been introduced, an alcohol ban already applies.

According to the city council, odor and noise nuisance is the reason for the introduction of the ban. Although smokers will only be warned by enforcers during the next two weeks, offenders may thereafter expect a hefty fine up front.

How high the fine is going to be is not yet known. The municipality and the police will spread flyers at coffee shops, cafes and public places in the near future and an online campaign will start to inform fellow citizens of the new policy.