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Dutch Smoking Ban Could Improve Marijuana Quality

Rumors of a smoking ban in the Netherlands have long threatened Amsterdam's popular coffeeshop scene, where customers can openly buy and smoke marijuana. In a bizarre turn, however, it looks like they've come up with an interesting compromise:

New laws similar to those which took effect in England last summer, will ban the smoking of tobacco - but not cannabis - in enclosed public places in the Netherlands from July 1.

Critics say the change will encourage users to turn to much stronger forms of the drug.

Users will still be able to light up joints filled with pure cannabis but technically banned from mixing in tobacco. [The Telegraph]

I just don't even know what to say about this. Common sense ought to dictate that businesses be allowed to choose what environment to offer their customers, but if you're gonna have a smoking ban, the marijuana exemption certainly takes the teeth out of it.

For the hardcore marijuana enthusiasts among us, a friend sends this interesting assesment of the smoking ban's potential impact on Dutch marijuana culture:

The popularity of mixing tobacco into joints is due in part to the widespread use of chemical fertilizers used when growing the commercial cannabis that is typically available in Dutch coffeeshops. "Chemmy" pot doesn't burn properly without tobacco, thus we may soon face an epidemic of joints that won’t stay lit.

Lacking the tobacco option, coffeeshop customers may soon find themselves craving properly-grown organic cannabis, currently a rare find at most Dutch coffeeshops. If, to any extent, this change in the law results in increased use of more conscientious cultivation practices, the long term impact on the quality of Dutch cannabis could be substantial.

Organic cannabis is more flavorful, softer on the lungs, and produces a more satisfying high. Moreover, proper organic methods can achieve the same yields as the destructive chemical/hydroponic technique that many growers believe is necessary to produce a sizable harvest. Experts such as Jason King have long lamented the poor quality of commercial cannabis available in Amsterdam and this new law may have the unintended effect of pushing things back in the right direction.

Really? Well that sounds logical enough to me, I guess. You won't find that kind of analysis in The Telegraph, that's for sure.
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HEMP only saviour for ALL American farmers

right on w/ article, of course
common sense and geodomehome for data and links
Viva 'El Frente/Verde'[.org]

To Vaporize or Not To Vaporize?

Smoking is not the only option.

Marijuana can be conveniently vaporized (, among other intake methods, to eliminate the harms of smoking.

If someone wants to run a smoking establishment, and consumers want to go there, then it should be available in the name of liberty.

If someone wants to run a no-smoking establishment, and consumers want to go there, then it too should be available in the same name.

Disgusting -- one more reason why you need to regulate growers.

"Organic cannabis is more flavorful, softer on the lungs, and produces a more satisfying high. Moreover, proper organic methods can achieve the same yields as the destructive chemical/hydroponic technique that many growers believe is necessary to produce a sizable harvest."

No matter the industry, profits always seem to take a priority over public health in a "free market." I was actually looking forward to taking a trip to Amsterdam to sample their products. No thank you!!! The more I read about the Netherlands, the more I realize that regulating only the retail side of marijuana distribution is not enough.

Please don't knock the free

Please don't knock the free market when the situation in Holland clearly isn't one.

The fact is that the supply side don't need to compete with each other for quality due to prohibitionist policies. Why would they bother investing more resources and quality into their product when they can just as easily sell poorly-cured and non-organic pot to the ignoramus touristas who populate the majority of Amsterdam coffeeshops.

Simply put, tourists are so giddy that they're able to procure cannabis from what looks like "an official" outlet, that they're usually not too regarding on the quality or fearful for their health. Also knowing the extra-steps and attention required out of growing organic, as well as the entire fruit of their labor which can be wiped out by raids from the cops, it makes a grower think twice about quality over quantity.

It's really no wonder they'd want to do the strict minimum so as to turn over plenty of product and quicker reward their risk-taking. Growing great pot takes longer time and effort than the traditional stuff you find in most coffeeshops, and a few growers do it mainly for recognition of their skills as a grower rather than for profit.

Halting prohibition of the supply side will truly put growers in competition with each other and will be the real boon of quality, organically-grown cannabis in Holland.

~ Sneaky

Are police still a threat to growers in Holland?

I thought police focus on hard drug dealing, not marijuana growing and selling (unless they are involved in the former). Their county hosts the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, the largest congregation of marijuana growers.

Here's how it goes in Holland basically

The cops don't want to waste their time with it, but the antiquated laws on the books kinda force them to.

Also the Christian Democrats have been in power in Holland, and that doesn't help matters. From their party planks: "The toleration of soft drugs should come to an end, furthermore the practices of prostitution, abortion and euthanasia should be more limited."

Things are still better than anywhere else in the world as far as Drug Policy is concerned (The Czech Republic probably comes in second), but the religious nuts are trying to push things towards the laws of the rest of the world, and that is a scary scary thing.

The end result is a free market. To free.

If cops don't waste their time on growers, sellers, and users, then you pretty much have a market less govt oversight than the tobacco and alcohol industries. To me that sort of system often just works in the christian democrats favor, especially if it is increasing youth marijuana use and fostering organized crime, which it has great potential to do if it isn't regulated properly, which is evident with the chemo/tobacco-laced weed.

What about Electric cigarettes???

Well being a smoker for 10 years i know how hard it is to not be able to smoke in a place where you socialize. So with all these bans going into effect i was turned on to this company CROWN7 by a friend. They offer a smokeless cigarette that you can smoke in bars/restaurants not only that but you still get you nicotine fix and you dont smell like an ashtray. So this is one product i would def consider.

hashish is better

I've been to Amsterdam many times, once to give a lecture on global drug prohibition. Whenever I'm there, I smoke only hashish (the available pot really isn't any better than what I get here at home). My preference for hashish dates back to the late 70s when I was in the Army and assigned to a remote nuclear missile site in what was then West Germany. Hash was everywhere, and pot was rare.

In an event, I've always felt hash to be the better buzz. And in Amsterdam much of it is illegally imported, although there is a trend toward locally produced product. Whether or not this will lead to reduced potency or increased harshness, I can't say - but I can't wait to find out.


The Alaska State Supreme Court is debating the legality of Marijuana and changing the Alaska State Constitution. The issue of Ravin VS. State which legalizes small amounts of Marijuana is in crisis. Please Send Your Letters to JASON BRANDEIS-ACLU-ANCHORAGE-ALASKA AND SUPPORT A COMMON SENSE DRUG POLICY-DON'T LET THEM CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION!

Some people say we don't have a constitutional right to MJ

What about a constitutional right to live without the drug dealers selling dope in our schools and neighborhoods, which is fostered by prohibition of a regulated market?

Where is the environmental and quality of life outcry here?


As 66 y/o 25 year addiction therapist, I will support
and defend your right to put any substance you
choose in your last repository of freedom - your body.
Support decriminalization leading to "legalization."
U-Dog - uncledavidoldguy

Amsterdam coffee shops

Having been to Amsterdam recently, I would hardly describe the coffee shop scene as "popular." The places I visited were virtually empty - people would come in, smoke and leave, not hang out [I even heard workers in one place complaining how empty the place was]. Only one of the three hotels I stayed in permitted smoking on premises - one even had a placard on the desk stating smoking was forbidden on the premises - and grounds for being asked to leave the hotel. Hotel #2 had their ban on cannabis in their guest booklet in the room.

I'd have to say that cannabis is legal in Holland only in the most limited way. If it were truly legal, they would no more care if you lit up in your hotel room than they would care if you poured yourself a highball [none of three hotels banned liquor in the rooms].

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