Oddly Enough

Minister says no drugs for off-duty Dutch police

Members of the Dutch Royal guard of honour rehearse ahead of the Dutch 2007 budget presentation by guiding their horses through smoke and gunfire on a beach at Scheveningen September 18, 2006. REUTERS/Jerry Lampen

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch interior minister wants police officials to stop using soft drugs when they are off-duty as it tarnishes the image of the force.

The use of some soft drugs is tolerated in the Netherlands and the sale of cannabis in small quantities for recreational use is permitted in government-regulated coffee shops.

“The minister does not want police officials to use soft drugs, such as cannabis, not even during their spare time. It does not fit with the presentation of the police to the public,” a spokesman said on Thursday.

There are 25 regional police forces in the Netherlands, some of which have implemented a no-drugs policy for off-duty officers while others have not, he said.

“We should have one rule for the whole force,” he said.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Sami Aboudi