Dutch Marijuana Joints Take a Hit from Smoking Ban

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, May 29, 2003.

  1. By Andrew Conaway
    Source: Reuters

    Amsterdam - Dutch "coffee shops" famous for selling marijuana could see business go up in smoke, as it seems the drug will be included in an upcoming ban on workplace smoking.
    The 2002 Tobacco Law requires all employers in the Netherlands next year to provide a smoke-free work environment for their staff.

    Due to get government approval soon, the law aims to protect employees of all companies from second-hand smoke.

    Although cannabis is formally illegal in the Netherlands, its use and sale are tolerated under strict government conditions. Coffee shops, where customers can buy a small amount of cannabis without fear of arrest, are a major tourist draw.

    The bar and restaurant industry (Horeca) has been granted a one-year exception from the new law, but coffee shops do not fall within the definition of that industry.

    "Coffee shops are not a part of Horeca," Health Ministry spokesman Bas Kuik said in an interview with Reuters Health. "They are an employer like anybody else, and they must provide a smoke-free environment."

    Coffee shop owners were aghast.

    "The whole point of going to a coffee shop is to smoke," said Arjan Roskam, chairman of the Union for Cannabis Retailers.

    "I'm really surprised by this -- it's just not logical," said Mohammad Ijounen, co-owner of the 1st Aid Coffeeshop in Amsterdam. "I mean, come on, people come here to meet and smoke, right. So now where are they going to go -- smoking in their cars?"

    He said that the ban would be particularly harmful to his business, as, like most coffee shops, he doesn't sell alcohol.

    "I'm going to lose a lot of customers," he added.

    The Netherlands boasts around 800 cannabis cafes. Smoking a joint in an Amsterdam coffee shop vies with canal boat tours and trips to the flower market for a place on tourists' itineraries.

    One patron, named Deena, said that although she had sympathy for the workers, she didn't trust the government's motives.

    "It's this religious government, man," she said, as she exhaled a large cloud of smoke. "Why don't they just outlaw pleasure and at least be honest about it?"

    Source: Reuters UK
    Author: Andrew Conaway
    Published: May 28, 2003
    Copyright: 2003 Reuters News Service
    Website: http://www.reuters.com
    Contact: http://about.reuters.com/custhelp/
  2. This new goverment should go up in (pot) smoke, we have the worst economic situation in 20 years and the goverment takes this anti smoking law that will cost a 100.000 people their jobs, good thinking?????

  3. That sucks... Well... shit....that sucks man
  4. yeah i heard this last night on BBC news.

    either the dutch government are just so dumb they didn't think about coffeeshops when making this law.

    or it could be a new measure to cut out the cannabis market?

    damn. it's a shit situation right now. what with the EU getting closer to completion. if europe has state and federal laws just like america, then what's going to happen to holland? and any other country that wants to decriminalise, or dare i say, legalise cannabis?

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