The singer is "reinforcing drug use as a reasonable way of life" one campaigner says

Miley Cyrus has been criticised by anti-drugs campaigners after appearing to smoke a joint onstage at the MTV EMAs in Amsterdam on Sunday night (November 10).

Walking on stage at the Ziggo Arena to accept the award for Best Video, which she won for the controversial promo for ‘Wrecking Ball’, she stopped to light a hand-rolled cigarette. “I couldn’t fit the award in my purse but I did find this,” she said, taking the ‘joint’ and lighter from her purse and sparking up. She had previously opened the show singing ‘We Can’t Stop’ while wearing a spandex suit – in keeping with the space theme of this year’s awards – and twerked with a dwarf during the routine.

Cannabis is not legal in the Netherlands, but users can’t be prosecuted for possession of small amounts, while it can be sold legally in coffee shops.

David Raynes, a spokesperson for the National Drug Prevention Alliance, told the Evening Standard that her behaviour was a bad influence on her young fan base. “It is irresponsible,” he said.

“The people she is targeting with her performance are much more vulnerable to the effects of marijuana. We know from research that cannabis use has more of an effect on the younger brain than the brain of a more mature person.”

He added: “By doing this on stage she is making it a more acceptable lifestyle choice.”

Lucy Dawe, of anti-drugs group Cannabis Skunk Sense told the newspaper, “We are getting more and more of these high-profile people flouting the law and nothing seems to be done.”

The full list of winner’s at the MTV EMA Awards:

Worldwide Act – Chris Lee
Best World Stage – Linkin Park
Best Male – Justin Bieber
Best Electronic – Avicii
Best Rock – Green Day
Best Female – Katy Perry
Best Alternative – Thirty Seconds To Mars
Best Hip Hop – Eminem
Best Live – Beyoncé
Best Song – Bruno Mars – ‘Locked Out Of Heaven’
Biggest Fans – Tokio Hotel
Best Look – Harry Styles
Best Pop – One Direction
Global Icon – Eminem
Best Push – Austin Mahone