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viper
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject: I'm Back, With The News You All Dreaded ! Reply with quote

Well I was there, where where you ?

Amsterdam June 27th - July 2nd 2008 'The Last Big Smoke'

The Smoking Laws kicked into effect 12:00pm/am midnight June 30th-1st of July.

The entire country is smoke free.

Coffee Shops will allow the smoking of pure marijuana jpints or hash in pipes but tobacco in all forms is finished, blunts too.

Some shops have seperate rooms or screened off parts that are smoking rooms. Some do not. They were all waiting to hear of the first bust details so that they could decide if small shops without smoking rooms could allow smoking of 'pure' in front of counter staff.

As I left no news of any busts had occured.

Tuesday July 1st and coffee shops were empty, it was like a ghost town.

Smoking marijuana or hash on the street is illegal and if your busted doing it near a coffee shop they'll get busted too, and closed for ever.

If caught smoking tobacco in a jpint in a coffee shop by an Inspector, the shop gets busted 300E per customer first offence. Subsequent offences carry a 600, 1200, 2400, 4800 .............. for each and every person smoking tobacco in the shop.

Coffee Shop Culture as I've known it since 1990 is over, gone, finished, and part of history.

Cherish your memorys.

Full detailed write up with pictures to come soon.
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Ferre
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi bro, we have missed eachother by a day. I do have some remarks on your comments though, it's not at all as bad as you apparently been told it is.

For instance;

Quote:
Smoking marijuana or hash on the street is illegal and if your busted doing it near a coffee shop they'll get busted too, and closed for ever.


I don't know who told you that but it is pertinent not true. There is no law whatsoever that states that smoking weed or hash in the streets is illegal in the Netherlands, unless, as they recently inroduced, it's around children play grounds and then there's a sign, the famous "no weed" sign. Everywhere else it's as legal as breathing air. No coffeeshop can be busted when there's people outside smoking, it never happened in the past and wil propably never happen either, there's simply no law that justifies this.

Also, According to statements given out by the government, coffeeshops do not need a seperate smoking room, the Dutch minister of health has clearly stated that the whole smoking ban only applies for tobacco (nicotine) and as long as people don't use tobacco in shops there's no issue whatsoever.

Then there's this message I read in one of the Netherlands most popular newspapers which had a message from the department of health stating that even for the control of bars they did not have the human resources. In several cities bars deliberately allow their clients to keep smoking tobacco because they want to get a court case to judge the law againt our constitution (there are a few legal problems there) and until today even those bars did not receive any visits or fines.

In Holland we have this saying that states; "de soep wordt nooit zo heet gegeten als ie opgedient wordt"

Transated it means; Soup is never eaten as hot as it is served. It's typical for the Dutch attitude, we have seen loads of very harsh laws being introduced in the past, but at the end when those laws can not be enforced they only excist on paper and have little influence on real life practice.

Then there another thing which makes the enforcement of those laws rather impossible and that's our privacy laws. When I am sitting in a coffeeshop smoking my joint and this shop gets visited to control whether there's tobacco smoking going on, no government official has the legal right to take my joint and tear it apart to check if there's any tobacco inside. All they can legally do is ask and when I say there's no tobacco there's nothing they can do to ensure themselves whether that's true, even when they say they "smell" it, that's not enough to fine me or the shop as "smell" is very subjective.

And last but not least, bars like Suzie's do have a smoking room where you can still smoke tobacco and tobacco with weed in it, same goes for the Nes cafe and many others.

Coffeeshop culture might change a little but don't get intimidated by the new rules, it's not dead at all and we can still enjoy our smoke as we always did.
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Brother Adam
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh...never been, so I guess I'm not missing much anyway.
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viper
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ferre,

sorry I missed you.

Its late and I'm on the way to bed, but I'll get back to you on some of that tomorrow.
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viper
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morning Ferre,

right, lets go through it -

Ferre wrote:
Hi bro, it's not at all as bad as you apparently been told it is.

I do hope so mate.

For instance;

Quote:
Smoking marijuana or hash on the street is illegal and if your busted doing it near a coffee shop they'll get busted too, and closed for ever.


I was told by several coffee shop workers at a variety of locations that smoking marijuana or hashish on the street was prohibited and punishible via legal action. This did not include sitting at an outside table of a coffee shop or smoker freindly bar, but to walking through town openly smoking.

If there is anything legal I can quote to back what you say about no law against smoking in the street, please, please, I'd be ever so grateful if you could show me it so I may show others.


Also, According to statements given out by the government, coffeeshops do not need a seperate smoking room, the Dutch minister of health has clearly stated that the whole smoking ban only applies for tobacco (nicotine) and as long as people don't use tobacco in shops there's no issue whatsoever.

This seems to be rather unclear amongst coffee shop workers. I asked the same questions at every place I went into and took trouble to visit sereral locations at different times and days to question different staff. I kept getting different answers. It seems there may be an issue with protection of Coffee shop workers health and that is why some shops have already made a seperate smoking space. Until someone gets busted no one seems to know how to proceed. The 'wait and see' philosophy was in large evidence. Dolphins who had notices up in their downstairs room advertizing 'tobacco area' were very unclear as to how the law would be applied and on the 30th told me no tobacco would be allowed.

Then there's this message I read in one of the Netherlands most popular newspapers which had a message from the department of health stating that even for the control of bars they did not have the human resources. In several cities bars deliberately allow their clients to keep smoking tobacco because they want to get a court case to judge the law againt our constitution (there are a few legal problems there) and until today even those bars did not receive any visits or fines.

I heard that 400 extra Food & Health Ispectors have been hired just to go around checking smoking policy on such places.

In Holland we have this saying that states; "de soep wordt nooit zo heet gegeten als ie opgedient wordt"

Transated it means; Soup is never eaten as hot as it is served. It's typical for the Dutch attitude, we have seen loads of very harsh laws being introduced in the past, but at the end when those laws can not be enforced they only excist on paper and have little influence on real life practice.

I hear what your saying but on the street there people just don't seem to know how implimentation of the law will be done. A lot of coffee shop workers were noticably unsettled and nervous.

Then there another thing which makes the enforcement of those laws rather impossible and that's our privacy laws. When I am sitting in a coffeeshop smoking my jpint and this shop gets visited to control whether there's tobacco smoking going on, no government official has the legal right to take my jpint and tear it apart to check if there's any tobacco inside. All they can legally do is ask and when I say there's no tobacco there's nothing they can do to ensure themselves whether that's true, even when they say they "smell" it, that's not enough to fine me or the shop as "smell" is very subjective.

Again I hear you, but this has yet to occur as of my leaving town. Actual practice has not been tested.

And last but not least, bars like Suzie's do have a smoking room where you can still smoke tobacco and tobacco with weed in it, same goes for the Nes cafe and many others.

I visited Nes on 29th and the guy working there thanked me for telling him he still had 24 hrs to smoke inside Nes having mistakenly told me that I wouldn't be able to smoke as I was doing Monday 30th as he thought the law kicked in Monday. He said as of July 1st tobacco users would be required to use the outside seating. Then with a big smile rolled himself a jpint.

I missed Suzies though, couldn't remember the name, but did slip into Ricks.


Coffeeshop culture might change a little but don't get intimidated by the new rules, it's not dead at all and we can still enjoy our smoke as we always did.


Agreed, no its not dead, it will survive, but it in what way and form ? Its never going to be the same again, and that's a hard fact to get away from.

I very much look forwards to comparing more of our notes.

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Ferre
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well bro, I'll try and answer some of your replies here..

Quote:
I was told by several coffee shop workers at a variety of locations that smoking marijuana or hashish on the street was prohibited and punishible via legal action. This did not include sitting at an outside table of a coffee shop or smoker friendly bar, but to walking through town openly smoking.

If there is anything legal I can quote to back what you say about no law against smoking in the street, please, please, I'd be ever so grateful if you could show me it so I may show others.


As you very well know, many of the coffeeshop employees in Amsterdam are not Dutch and don't know much of Dutch laws either, apart from that, one doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to work in a coffeeshop so it doesn't surprise me at all that you didn't get much helpful information from those guys.

As I said before, there are no laws in the Dutch lawbooks on smoking in streets, whether it is tobacco or anything else. However, some cities have local rules, like Amsterdam which has introduced a "no weed" sign on a few places, mainly children play grounds, and only there (where they put the signs) smoking weed/hash is prohibited (notice that one still is allowed to smoke tobacco in those places).

(Just ask yourself the question why they had the need for a "no weed" sign for certain places when it was prohibited anyway. Right, you got it, because it's NOT prohibited anyway)

It's not possible to show the law about smoking in public simply because there is no laws to show, it's non existing (I searched though, couldn't find one letter in Dutch laws that prohibit smoking weed in the streets)

When, for example, I'm sitting in front of my house with my neighbors smoking a joint there is no law that would make that illegal, the smoking ban for tobacco only addresses smoking in buildings, not in the open air including streets. In fact, when a police offices would cause us trouble for doing so we could sue him for harassement.

BTW. In 2005, the Christian Union together with the rightwing liberal party (VVD) proposed a smoking ban on weed/hash for public places which included the streets. The minister of justics at that time, Donner (Christian Democrats - CDA) didn't feel much for such a law and stated that cities already have the opportunity to make local rules and at the end this ban (law) was not accepted by the government.

In conclusion; Dutch law does not prohibit smoking weed in the streets, although the christian union together with the rightwing liberals attempted to file such a law in 2005 but failed.

Quote:
This seems to be rather unclear amongst coffee shop workers. I asked the same questions at every place I went into and took trouble to visit sereral locations at different times and days to question different staff. I kept getting different answers. It seems there may be an issue with protection of Coffee shop workers health and that is why some shops have already made a seperate smoking space. Until someone gets busted no one seems to know how to proceed. The 'wait and see' philosophy was in large evidence. Dolphins who had notices up in their downstairs room advertizing 'tobacco area' were very unclear as to how the law would be applied and on the 30th told me no tobacco would be allowed.


Again, coffeeshop employees are not the best source of information, as I pointed out above.

I think the confusion starts when it comes down to allowing people to use tobacco with their joints. Officially, when coffeeshops want to allow tobacco/weed joints to be used in their shop they'll need a seperate smoking room, but this only applies to tobacco, shops that have no seperate smoking room can only allow pure weed/hash to be consumed on their property. There is no need for seperate rooms for pure weed/tobacco as the smoking ban is ONLY designed to ban tobacco smoke (The minister of health made that very clear).

Quote:
I heard that 400 extra Food & Health Ispectors have been hired just to go around checking smoking policy on such places.


Those are rumours, not fact. Around 400 health inspectors have been given training to deal with the new law, those are already existing inspectors.

Quote:
I hear what your saying but on the street there people just don't seem to know how implimentation of the law will be done. A lot of coffee shop workers were noticably unsettled and nervous.


yeah, I noticed that too. I attribute this to fear for what's coming next, as you might know the Christian parties in our government are busy with designing new laws to crack down on cannabis use and growing in general, when they get their way they would ban it alltogether.

Quote:
Again I hear you, but this has yet to occur as of my leaving town. Actual practice has not been tested.


The problem we Dutch guys face here are foreigners. Those guys don't know Dutch laws and many of them come from countries where they are used to obey the police without questioning.

When a Dutch inspector asks a foreign guy (say, an American) to hand over their joint to check it that guy will most propably hand it over without questioning, simply because they are conditioned to submit to anything someone in uniform demands them to do.
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viper
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent reply Ferre.

Just what I was looking for.

Thank you for making things clear for those of us uncertain of Dutch Law.

If you could give me some details of the 'No Weed' signs, history of ect, I'd find that most helpful to include.
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viper
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

O.K. it's up ; -

http://thelairofviper.co.uk/tales/the_last_big_smoke.htm

You will need to become a member to read the whole article.

Sorry, but it keeps the kids out.
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Ferre
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished reading it. Great story, as usual. Thanks for that Viper, again you managed to give us a pleasant read.

Very Happy
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viper
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you.

Did I miss anything ?
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