In 2011 Amsterdam challenged and eventually won in high court the right to designate certain areas as as non-pot smoking zones. Rotterdam recently challenged the law as well and has also won its case. If smoking pot in these areas is deemed unsafe, then it becomes a matter of public order and can be legally enforced, as long as the cities take this up in their local public ordinance.
The reason why this wasn’t cut and dry was that the Opium Law governing soft drugs basically states that marijuana is illegal, again something many people still don’t know because the law is willfully ignored. And since marijuana is illegal you can’t forbid it again, as that would be crazy talk.
However, due to the oddness of the Dutch situation both cities now have a workaround. Stopping people from smoking altogether is often enough, but in many places people are allowed to smoke outside, regardless of how funny their cigarette smells.
(Link: www.nieuws.nl, Photo of No-blow (and no drinking) sign by Erik Joling, some rights reserved)
Tags: Amsterdam, law, marijuana, pot, Rotterdam, smoking
I read on Twitter this morning that someone could not buy any chocolate cigarettes at the sweets shop as a Sinterklaas gift for their kids. Apparently, the shop doesn’t carry them anymore because that would encourage kids to start smoking at an earlier age. I can think of a multitude of things you shouldn’t buy your children, full stop. Will ordinary mushrooms be next? What about ice lollies?
All this nannyism (in Dutch, betutteling) is putting a damper on some people’s holiday spirit much more than any financial crisis could, it seems. Besides small cafés ignoring the smoking ban and the waves of protests and enforcement problems, many Dutch cities like Rotterdam and Amsterdam will be closing down coffeeshops (where you buy weed and hasch) that are located too close to schools. Not a bad idea per se, but why let them set up shop there in the first place? Back then, I guess the government was liberal enough to let parents explain right and wrong to their kids. Then, there’s Maastricht being pressured by neighbouring Belgium and Germany to shut shops to cut down on cross-border smoking.
Blaming the Netherlands has been going on for ages. During a speech held in Amsterdam a few years back, French President Jacques Chirac blamed the Netherlands for their cross-border dope-smoking problems, failing to notice that the Netherlands doesn’t share a border with France. That border is called Belgium. Belgium was not amused.
But, in order to show you that things are still smokin’, coffeshop De Greehouse in Amsterdam, which I had heard of even before living in the Netherlands, has just won the prestigious Cannabis Cup, well known by readers of High Times magazine, the magazine for pot smokers and growers, for some weed that sounds more like a kind of lady’s tea: Super Lemon Haze. Follow the link below for a good, educational video with much English in it.
Tags: Cannabis cup, marijuana, nannyism, pot, War on Fun