Article source for : Smoking ban may not apply to dope
April 19, 2007 Reuters "story":http://www.reuters.com/article/wtMostRead/idUSL1954429320070419 :
Could a smoking ban spell the end of Amsterdam's world famous coffee shops, where smoking cannabis is one of the main attractions? No chance, says local conservative politician and coffee shop owner Michael Veling. The Dutch may well follow other European countries in banning tobacco smoking in restaurants, cafes and bars.
He says the clientele who have been coming to coffee shops to buy and inhale cannabis are flexible enough to find a way around any ban on smoking the tobacco products they routinely mix with marijuana resin or leaf in rolled paper "joints".
"You can bring parsley or old socks if you want, cut them here and smoke them, nobody will say anything," Veling said.
Not so fast ...
June 8, 2007 Reuters "story":http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070608/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_dutch_smoking;_ylt=Ak92Mbb66ElSEb0mpTVzNYTMWM0F
A Dutch smoking ban will come into force in July next year for all restaurants and cafes -- including coffee shops where cannabis is the top attraction, the government decided on Friday.
Establishments will not in fact have to be completely smoke-free. Proprietors will be allowed to set up a separate room or glass partition behind which people can smoke, but customers will not be served there to protect staff.
Amsterdam's renowned coffee shops, where marijuana can be smoked openly in a relaxed atmosphere, are one of the city's big draws for tourists. Coffee shop owners argue that the ban only applies to tobacco and was unlikely to hit them hard.
Whilst commonly mixed with tobacco, marijuana can also be smoked on its own, especially in pipes, vaporisers and other contraptions. Soft drugs are officially banned in the Netherlands but under a policy of tolerance, buyers are allowed to have less than 5 grams of cannabis in their possession.