Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dutch Police Mad About New Rule that Bans them From Smoking Pot

Dutch police complain it is their right to smoke cannabis while off-duty

Banned: But Dutch police complain the ban against cannabis overrules their personal freedoms

Police in Amsterdam are complaining over new rules banning them from smoking cannabis while off duty.

Officers in the Dutch capital, famous for its liberal drugs laws, have been told they must set the public "a good moral example".

The ban, due to come into effect on January 1, will make the force the first in the Netherlands to bar officers from using drugs when not at work.

Frank Gittay, the city's police council chairman, said: "Until now police were only banned from showing up for work stoned or drunk.

"But now we are telling officers they should also behave like the police at all times.

"That means not taking drugs and not getting excessively drunk whether on or off duty."

But Dutch police union chairman Hans van Duijn said: "Many of our members are opposed to this.

"They are not paid for 24-hours a day. What they do in their free time is up to them."

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