April 26, 2013

Marijuana seeds with orange tops for the Queen

Filed under: Nature,Weird by Orangemaster @ 9:27 pm

Coffeeshop owner Theo Buissink of Groningen wants to launch a bunch of orange-coloured helium balloons with marijuana seeds in them with the text ‘Thank you Majesty’, referring to Queen Beatrix who will abdicate the throne on 30 April. When the balloons burst at high altitude, the seeds will spread and marijuana plants will grow all over the country. The plants will have orange tops, as the owner claims to have had those specially cultivated for the occasion. The first plants should start appearing in September 2013. The coffeeshop is appropriately called ‘De Vliegende Hollander’ (‘The Flying Dutchman’).

The whole thing makes for a nice animation video in your head using your imagination.

“When Willem-Alexander was 18 we sent him joints for his birthday. Now he will get an empty container that he can fill up with weed in our shop during his visit to Groningen.”

Here’s the story in Dutch:

(Link: opmerkelijk.nieuws.nl)

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September 5, 2012

Mayor of Maastricht does 180 on weed pass

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 9:04 pm

This April we announced the coming of the weed pass for NL residents only, supposed to deter cross border drug buying in the southern provinces of Limburg, Brabant and Zeeland. The weed pass will be introduced in the rest of the country as of January 2013, and Amsterdam is already gearing up for some sort of a fight.

The mayor of Maastricht, Onno Hoes, was a big fan of introducing the pass until this week. He now believes that coffeeshops shouldn’t be members only clubs, saying people are now avoiding coffeeshops.

You don’t say! Creating a database of weed smokers is not only awkward for the smokers, but it is a hassle and a half for coffeeshop owners. I know this for a fact, as I tried to buy a joint recently in the South to see how that went. Oh, and you don’t get a pass, what’s that all about, man.

First of all, besides meeting friendly all-female staff, they did need to see some ID and not any kind of letter stating where I actually lived. Second, besides telling me which parties I should vote for in the upcoming election with regard to the weed pass, they showed me their membership administration: a bunch of recipe cards in a box, nothing digital. They said if the cops come in, they need to be able to show their membership. I guess if it’s on a computer, you can’t produce it as quickly as with a rolodex, but that all sounds very shifty to me.

Someone else also said that forcing the south to follow the law, while other provinces don’t have to abide by that same law just yet isn’t really fair, either.

This story is far from over as it’s a matter of time before smart people from Amsterdam will figure out a way to buy weed for tourists and make a killing from it.

(Link: www.nu.nl)

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April 27, 2012

Weed pass kicks in 1 May, for NL residents only

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 3:41 pm

Some 19 coffee shops and several interest groups went to court to fight the government’s plan to introduce a ‘weed pass’ to prevent foreigners (actually, non-residents of the Netherlands) to buy marijuana at coffee shops and lost. The weed pass will come into force on 1 May in the southern provinces and eventually be rolled out throughout the country. The lawyers representing the coffee shops plan to appeal the decision, and even the Mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard Van der Laan is opposed to the pass and wants to work out a compromise.

Besides the fact that coffee shops in big cities are major tourist attractions, they felt they were being forced to discriminate against certain clients, as a weed pass can only be obtained in the city where one resides. Collecting personal information about clients brings up a lot of privacy issues as well.

The original plan was to stop drug tourism in border regions like in Maastricht, but that doesn’t apply at all to cities like Amsterdam. Coffee shops will basically become private clubs with membership open only to Dutch residents and limited to 2,000 per shop.

Discriminating between EU citizens on the basis of where they live is apparently illegal, making coffee shop owners responsible for drug enforcement sound like a burden, and who’s to stop me for going into a coffee shop and buying joints for somebody else? I don’t see the point of this, besides the government owning a database of people who smoke marijuana. I think drug dealers will make a small fortune selling bad quality weed to tourists and I don’t see how that looks like stopping criminality.

In the mean time, the people who can’t be bothered to get a pass down south will buy their drugs up north or start growing more of their own, which is perfectly OK as long as it’s limited to a few plants.

And for the record, smoking marijuana is illegal in the Netherlands, but it is tolerated.

Here’s a famous Dutch song about ‘nederwiet’ (Dutch weed) by megastars Doe Maar:

(Links: www.coffeeshopnieuws.nl, www.nu.nl, Photo of Joint by Torben Bjørn Hansen, some rights reserved)

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September 15, 2009

C’est fini: no more cross-border drug buying

Filed under: Film,General by Orangemaster @ 11:04 am

Next Monday is the premiere of the film ‘C’est Fini’ (It’s over’) in Antwerp, Belgium, a comedy film made by the Dutch cities of Roosendaal and Bergen op Zoom near the Belgian border to inform drug tourists about not being able to buy drugs anymore in both cities.

As of tomorrow, coffeeshops in both cities will no longer be allowed to sell soft drugs (hashish and marijuana). Coffeeshops that do sells drugs will be shut down for five years after a first warning. About 90% of all the drugs sold in these cities are to Flemish youth, which adds up to some 25,000 drug tourists.

The film’s plot has three Flemish guys trying to score a joint in the Netherlands. You can catch the trailer here (warning, nasty splash page).

The Dutch could just stop selling soft drugs altogether, some do say, others think that it’s still better to be relaxed about soft drugs in order to dissuade people from taking hard drugs. The current trend is that most people would probably not have the Netherlands known as some sort of coffeeshop and prostituion heaven, but hey, it’s part of the country’s identity at this point and it does attract the right tourists in some places. The jury is defintely still out on this, so to speak.

And don’t ask me why the poster has three languages on it (English = cool, French = cool to the Flemish, Dutch/Flemish = to be understood).

(Link: parool.nl, cestfini.be)

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June 30, 2008

Last call before the smoking ban

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 9:12 am
Cigarette ban

This past weekend in and around Amsterdam and probably throuhgout the rest of the country a number of smoking parties were held where people could smoke just about anything including marijuana and haschsch where normally etiquette dictates that that is more of a coffeeshop thing. A DJ friend over at Ghetto Restaurant on the Warmoestraat played music about smoking and cigarettes, and cigar aficionados had get togethers all over town, if I can believe all the flyers I saw. We all know that the French, Irish, Canadians and Americans all run out outdoors in packs to smoke one, even two cigarettes in a row and then get back to their food and drinks left with the friends who don’t smoke. The Dutch also know that tomorrow, 1 July, Big Brother won’t necessarily be coming by to check and see if everyone has radically changed their habits.

Predictions are fun when they are not taken seriously, so here are some predictions for the upcoming month as regards the smoking ban.

1) The first major fine from a respectable establishment will make the news.
2) Some places will pay the fines and let people smoke in protest, at least for a while.
3) All kinds of private clubs with membership will cash in, as the ban on them will not apply.
4) Any kind of weirdo initiative will make the news, especially anything related to coffeeshops.
5) More establishments than expected will either close or change hands.
6) There will be clashes between smokers who persist and non-smokers who feel they have won the war.

Let’s wait till the smoke clears.

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February 25, 2008

Smoking pot using a balloon, the latest trend

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:56 am

After 1 July 2008 smoking will be a thing of the past in Dutch cafes and restaurants. This also means that smoking anything in coffeeshops will also be banned. We already reported about one coffeeshop who jumped the gun and banned smoking as of 1 January 2008.

Local Amsterdam television station AT5 has already claimed that the new hype to circumvent the ban is smoking using a condom-shaped balloon. Pot is evaporated and placed in a balloon that really does look like a condom once fully blown. Using the ‘smoking condom’, one can take a toke without anyone being bothered by it. None of the reports say anything about exhaling the smoke though… we’ll keep you informed.

(Link: blikopnieuws.nl)

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February 2, 2008

First smoke-free coffeeshop in the Netherlands

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 12:13 pm

As of 1 February, Boerenjongens, an Amsterdam coffeeshop (a place to smoke marijuana and haschisch in the Netherlands) decided to ban smoking inside its establishment. Owner Martijn van Bennekom says that all his employees were for a ban on smoking. “It’s much nicer to work in a smoke-free environment than to work in smoke the whole day”. While some patrons have no problems with the idea, others think it’s weird. “You can’t drink alcohol in a coffeeshop and now you can’t smoke. All you can do is drink coffee now.” So people come to buy drugs and leave because you can’t smoke in front of the coffeeshop either. The owner says he hopes that selling fancy juices, coffee and the smoking ban will attract people who wouldn’t normally go to a coffeeshop. One patron said, “when you go to the supermarket you just buy your food, you don’t eat it there.” That’s one way to look at it.

(Link: Zoomin)

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January 1, 2008

Smoking ban kicks in on 1 January prematurely

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 8:30 am

After all the whining and complaining about banning smoking in Dutch establishments in the media (you can still see people being interviewed smoke on TV), some 70% of hotels, restaurants and cafes plan to ban smoking in their establishments on 1 January 2008. This is surprising since the actual ban is set for 1 July 2008. According to a spokesperson of the Royal Dutch catering and hospitality organisation, implementing the ban on 1 January has psychological reasons. “Many people start their resolutions on New Year’s Day, which often includes giving up smoking.” In fact, about three quarters of Dutch hotels have had smoking bans since 2006.

And then there’s the discussion about an exception to the ban for ‘coffeeshops’, which in Dutch refers to cafes that sell weed and hasch, since the whole point is to go there and smoke.

Tell us what you think. And Happy New Year!

(Link: fok.nl)

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