I Swear, Officer, It's Only Marijuana!

A Dutch ban on smoking in businesses open to the public takes effect on July 1, and owners of marijuana-selling "coffee shops" are worried. They're not worried because the ban will prevent their customers from smoking pot. Although the combustion products of any dried weed include toxins and carcinogens, cannabis is exempt from the law, which is ostensibly aimed at protecting employees. It's hard to see what purpose this disparate treatment serves, aside from horrifying American conservatives with the prospect of a topsy-turvy world in which you can smoke pot but not tobacco. But since European pot smokers often mix tobacco into their joints, The Independent reports, coffee shop operators are afraid the smoking ban will cut into their business:

"The new rule is nonsense," said Willem Panders, of the Dutch tobacco traders' union. "It will be almost impossible to enforce because how are you going to check if someone is smoking cannabis mixed with tobacco, or pure cannabis?"...

Marc Jacobsen, of BCD, a national association of coffee-shop owners which has been urging the government to give them special status, told the online version of Der Spiegel: "In a cafe you come to drink something. In a restaurant you come to eat. But when you come to a coffee shop you come to smoke, so smoking has to be allowed in a coffee shop."...

Sandy Lambrecht, the manager of the Bulldog coffee shop on the Leidseplein in the heart of Amsterdam, said: "The new rules are absurd. You come to a coffee shop to smoke, after all—it's ridiculous that we have to comply. The new rules are meant to protect employees like me, but the point is that we chose to work here."

Paul Wilhelm, the owner of De Tweede Kamer, one of Amsterdam's most famous coffee shops, founded in 1985, argued: "If the boys are old enough to be sent to Afghanistan, then you can't tell me that people want to protect them from smoke in the workplace. They're old enough to decide on their own. They can vote, they can go to war—but now they won't even be allowed to make this decision?"

These are not arguments for exempting coffee shops from the smoking ban; these are arguments for repealing the smoking ban.

[via the Drug War Chronicle]

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  • Elemenope||

    It's hard to see what purpose this disparate treatment serves, aside from horrifying American conservatives with the prospect of a topsy-turvy world in which you can smoke pot but not tobacco.

    There is some intangible but real value to this, I must say.

  • ||

    how are you going to check if someone is smoking cannabis mixed with tobacco, or pure cannabis

    Body cavity search.

    /drug warrior off

  • ||

    Body cavity search.

    I like to think I'd be quick witted enough to shit on someone's hand during a cavity search. Sure, I'd get a baton in the teeth, but it might be worth it.

  • ||

    quick-witted enough?

  • TallDave||

    Although the combustion products of any dried weed include toxins and carcinogens, cannabis is exempt from the law

    As it should be. That phrase is somewhat misleading; the most comprehensive study done found no link between marijuana and increased cancer risk.

    All the evidence argues marijuana is far safer than tobacco.

  • Naga Sadow||

    SugarFree,

    Live the dream.

  • JohnD||

    So why don't all you morons move to Holland so you can smoke pot legally?

  • sebs||

    JohnD, for the same reason that you take the garbage out of your own house rather than letting it sit and moving back home to mom.

  • Naga Sadow||

    JohnD,

    Better yet, why don't YOU move to Holland and preach the evils of drug legalization to them?

  • ||

    quick-witted enough?

    OK, quick-boweled.

    We don't move away because we'd miss you too much, JohnD.

  • ||

    We don't move away because we'd miss you too much, JohnD.

    We? Do you have a mouse in your pocket?

  • ||

    I once got strip searched after having crapped my pants (don't ask). It had to have been pretty nasty for the officer. And I didn't get a baton in the teeth either, did get arrested though.

  • ||

    J sub D,

    It was the royal "we." I consider you all my loyal subjects.

    (don't ask)

    Does this story involve alcohol? Be truthful, now.

  • TallDave||

    Moving is hard. You have to pack and then unpack everything, figure out where to put the furniture, hook up the appliances, and I can never figure out how much to tip the moving guys.

    I was kinda hoping Holland's laws would move here and save me the work.

  • ||

    Yes, quite a bit in fact. LOL!

  • Zeb||

    It has been really disappointing over the last few years to see Europe start adopting smoking bans. I found the fact that you could smoke everywhere rather charming. I always had to admire how, despite all of the other socialist stuff, they still let people pretty much go out and enjoy themselves as they saw fit.

  • ||

    But since European pot smokers often mix tobacco into their joints

    Oh man that shit is N A S T Y. I can't understand how this caught on. Blunts are like the harshest, stinkiest, most nauseating way you could smoke pot. Just once, we were on a beach and had a little hash, with nothing other than a pack of cigs and a lighter, so what else you gonna do. But that's it. And I wouldn't even do that again today. I'd rather be sober than deep inhale tobacco.

  • ||

    "Moving is hard. You have to pack and then unpack everything, figure out where to put the furniture, hook up the appliances, and I can never figure out how much to tip the moving guys."

    Plus, that damned 120 v to 220 v is a mutha on some electronics made in the USA...

  • dhex||

    I can't understand how this caught on.

    as a way of modulating wasted-ness, as far as i can tell.

  • ||

    And, if you already smoke tobacco, it's really just efficient. Like a Reese's Cup.

  • TallDave||

    Plus, that damned 120 v to 220 v is a mutha on some electronics made in the USA...

    Then there's the whole PAL vs. NTSC issue.

    And learning Dutch, and those wooden shoes can't be comfortable...

  • Gangsta for Liberty||

    I like blunts. I get a nice synergistic effect from the tobacco/cannabis mix. That said, it's not good for you and is hell on your throat, which is why I save it for special occasions. And only smoke it outdoors, since it stinks inside.
    Plus, as long as you are not passing it back and forth with your crew it looks like a regular, legally harmless cigar.

  • ||

    No need to learn Dutch. They all speak english because:

    A: They realize no one is going to learn Dutch and.

    B: They don't want to speak French.

  • Robert||

    NY's anti-smoking law is specific to tobacco.

  • ||

    It's kind of ironic that after cheering on the policies that lead to a Euro going for $1.55 JohnD has the nerve to tell us to all move to Europe.

  • ||

    It's hard to see what purpose this disparate treatment serves, aside from horrifying American conservatives with the prospect of a topsy-turvy world in which you can smoke pot but not tobacco.

    Horrify not just American conservatives but i would hope horrify a few American libertarians as well.

    Oh wait i forgot...Jacob hates smokers and it is OK for the government to curtail the rights of private business owners so long as he can have a cup of coffee anywhere without those nasty smokers messing up the place.

    Sullum = Asshole.

  • ||

    It's kind of ironic that after cheering on the policies that lead to a Euro going for $1.55 JohnD has the nerve to tell us to all move to Europe.

    JohnD is a democrat?

  • thoreau||

    Jacob hates smokers and it is OK for the government to curtail the rights of private business owners so long as he can have a cup of coffee anywhere without those nasty smokers messing up the place.

    See, this is what happens when you let people who can't actually read start posting on the internet.

  • ||

    We got our wonderful no public smoking law here in Arizona last year by referendum.

    It seems to me that if all the smokers in the many, many bars we have here had gotten off their drunken asses and bothered to vote there wouldn't be so many clowns standing around in sunny parking lots smoking when it's 115 in the shade.

    Bar-flys and potheads don't vote -- if they did, I don't think these laws would be so widespead.

  • TallDave||

    We got our wonderful no public smoking law here in Arizona last year by referendum.

    It's the hot new thing in majority oppression.

  • ||

    Sometimes I curse my parents for immigrating to this country. I could be smoking a fat one right now, and not just in the confort of my home.

  • Naga Sadow||

    So hash is a tobacco/pot mix? Learned somethin' new today.

  • zoltan||

    Douglas Fletcher: It's not just public smoking as far as I know, it's inside private businesses as well. They passed it a little while ago here in Austin too, and no business is allowed to have it unless they have an outdoor patio or a few special cases.

  • ||

    They have to have a specified patio area or smokers have to be 20 feet away from the door of any business, in other words, usually out in the parking log.

  • ||

    "It's the hot new thing in majority oppression."

    I'm not against referendums, just stupid laws.

  • ||

    Jacob hates smokers and it is OK for the government to curtail the rights of private business owners so long as he can have a cup of coffee anywhere without those nasty smokers messing up the place.

    See, this is what happens when you let people who can't actually read start posting on the internet.


    Did you miss that non sequitur swipe at conservatives from Jacob?

    As if the idea of legalized tobacco does not horrify the left.

    So hash is a tobacco/pot mix? Learned somethin' new today.

    It isn't

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashish

    but I imagine hash is often smoked with tobacco.

  • ev||

    yeah im living in germany for the time being, going to university. europeans LOVE their hash joints. actual weed is so hard to find, and when you do they put some weird chemicals in it..at the end of a bowl (which no one here uses) it turns into a black, wet mess. its pretty gross.

    they put hash and tobacco together and just absolutely LOVE it. personally, doesnt get me that stoned and i like a cigarette AFTER the weed

  • ||

    "..they put hash and tobacco together and just absolutely LOVE it."

    When I was in Germany, during its time as the BDR (FRG) (1985-1986), everyone called hand rolled cigarettes with hash in them "ducktails".

    /Don't know why
    //It's a good way to enjoy two, two, two drugs in one
    ///It also conserves your stash

  • ||

    BDR = BRD

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