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InvisibleLanaV
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Dutch Ban on Smoking Hits Pot Businesses
    #1588723 - 05/29/03 02:41 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030529/ap_on_re_eu/netherlands_no_smoking_5

Dutch Ban on Smoking Hits Pot Businesses
Thu May 29, 7:49 AM ET

By ANTHONY DEUTSCH, Associated Press Writer

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - The latest news from the mecca of marijuana users is a real mindblower. Under a new ban on smoking in public places, Dutch coffee shops would be allowed to continue selling joints, but customers would have to go outside to smoke them.

To the chagrin of the owners of the country's popular marijuana smoking establishments, broad national health guidelines due to take effect next January seem to have inadvertently struck at the heart of the liberal Dutch drug policy.


The law to ban smoking in public places is targeted at tobacco users, not marijuana smokers, and has met fierce resistance from eating and drinking establishments.


Those businesses argued the tobacco smoking prohibition would result in the loss of 50,000 jobs and $1.5 billion in revenues annually. So the industry ? as well as coffee shops which sell marijuana ? has been granted a one-year extension until January 2005.


Regardless, opponents say the ban will drive smoking customers at regular bars and cafes ? about one in three of the Dutch smoke tobacco ? across the borders to Germany and Belgium where it would still be allowed.


The first coffee shop selling marijuana and hashish opened in the Netherlands in 1972 and they now number more than 800 countrywide. Growers and sellers compete in annual taste-testing competitions in Amsterdam, where millions of tourists a year sample the vast varieties advertised on menus.


Besides selling small quantities of what the Dutch call "soft-drugs," many coffee shops also offer patrons comfortable couches, fresh fruit juices and board games. Alcohol is generally forbidden.


Reactions in Dutch coffee shops ranged from utter amazement to concern about what will happen to the three-decade-old tradition in Amsterdam of social pot smoking.


"They've got to be out of their minds," laughed Annemiek van Royan, a regular at the "Kashmir (news - web sites) Lounge" coffee shop in West Amsterdam. Lighting up a joint of Dutch "skunk weed," she said she comes every day to hang out and talk with other visitors who can lean back on colorful embroidered cushions and puff away.


"I bought a joint for now and a little more for later at home. The best part is coming here to relax. It makes my day," she said, asking the dealer jokingly if he was going to start selling hash cake.


"Cake is so strong, it's too dangerous. People never know how much to eat," said Johan de Vries, the bartender at the Kashmir Lounge. He suggested building a heated outdoor terrace to get around the new law.


Health Ministry spokesman Bas Kuik said the law was not intended to target coffee shops, and ? as in all public areas ? they could have designated smoking areas.


The sale of marijuana is officially illegal, but its use has been decriminalized. Authorities allow the coffee shops to operate under strict guidelines as a way of exerting some control over behavior that they argue would happen anyway. Studies show that use of such drugs is no greater in the Netherlands than in countries where its is banned.


Even the head of the anti-smoking lobby Clean Air Now, Willem van den Oetelaar, conceded that banning pot smoking in coffee shops had not been the intended purpose of the campaign to stop public smoking. But he still backed the move. "It's not our priority, but it is a good thing," he said.


Van den Oetelaar said the organization's telephone hot line had received more than 2,000 complaints about smoking in public places since October ? but not one complaint about a coffee shop.


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Offlinecybrbeast
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Re: Dutch Ban on Smoking Hits Pot Businesses [Re: Lana]
    #1592105 - 05/30/03 05:16 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Damn, my government is getting oppresive. I hate it when they treat their citizens lke little children.
But I don't think this will hold up, it will probably be reversed.


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OfflineSheepish
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Re: Dutch Ban on Smoking Hits Pot Businesses [Re: Lana]
    #1597946 - 06/01/03 11:48 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

It would be retarded to ban smoking pot at coffee shops. I mean, they go there to smoke pot, right? It's not like you're going there to just have a cup of coffee and you're bothered by the marijuana smoke. It's a bit different from the bar/tobacco issue or if you're eating at a restraunt and it's full of cigarette smoke.


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Anonymous

Post deleted by Papaver [Re: cybrbeast]
    #1614052 - 06/06/03 07:15 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)



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InvisibleGGreatOne234
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Re: Dutch Ban on Smoking Hits Pot Businesses [Re: cybrbeast]
    #1614474 - 06/06/03 01:42 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

????

This is sort of confusing to me.
But maybe it could end up better than before.

I am ameirican but i have visited holland a few times.

-Am i correct in remembering that not every smoking establishment even has a place to smoke outdoors???

I remember it not being smart to light up doobies in public parks in the cities,
-Will people be able to do that now? in amsterdam parks or just on the street anywhere?


Cigarettes are the devil.

I am glad that i quit and only smoke bud now.

Keep shroomin,
GGreatOne234


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Anonymous

Post deleted by Papaver [Re: GGreatOne234]
    #1615607 - 06/06/03 10:07 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)



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Invisiblephobey
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Re: Dutch Ban on Smoking Hits Pot Businesses [Re: ]
    #1625674 - 06/11/03 06:07 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

lol always been that way as long as your not bothering people with it your?re fine. Hell the cops even help u lite it if u ask polite :smile:

And the smoke ban goes for normal cigarettes only so. 


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InvisibleTomandjerry58
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Re: Dutch Ban on Smoking Hits Pot Businesses [Re: ]
    #1629039 - 06/12/03 03:44 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

that will ruin their tourist attraction. damn that sucks. ive only been there once and there already starting bull shit. who cares if people smoke why don't they put there thoughts on homeless peolple or putting more ice cubes in there drinks. well i guess change is inevitable:)


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Offlinecybrbeast
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Re: Dutch Ban on Smoking Hits Pot Businesses [Re: Lana]
    #1641546 - 06/18/03 07:06 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

The law is to protect the employees of the establishments. So coffeeshops are thinking of a way around it. They could put a screen around the bar and let the employees pass the MJ through a door in the screen.
Anyway smoking in the streets is not tha bad. I have done it and in the cities many people do it. If the police see you and if they really want to get you, they might order you to put it out and maybe pay a fine.


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