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Smoking Laws

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Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
posts: 12,915
reviews: 208
Smoking Laws

I am sure you answer this question ten times a week, but my search of the forum still leaves me with some questions. I naturally assumed that like most EU countries, smoking in public places, restaurants, office buildings, public transportation and just about any indoor location is prohibited.

I find no language establishing the smoking policies of the Mercure Hotel, but there is a little no smoking symbol, which I assume means the entire property is non-smoking.

This, however, is my question. Is "coffee shop" a euphemism for a shop that sells marijuana? Do people smoke marijuana in "coffee shops", but not regular cigarettes? Are these the only places where "smoking" is sub-divided by category of what is smoked? If I go to a regular restaurant can I assume no one will be smoking anything?

Amsterdam, The...
posts: 7,909
reviews: 60
1. Re: Smoking Laws

Your assumptions are correct.

Outdoor terraces of regular cafes (and restaurants) allow the smoking of cigarettes and cigars, not cannabis. Some bars and restaurants have a smoking room. Some bars ignore the rules and allow smoking after a certain time in the evening... Hardly any restaurant does that so you are pretty safe to eat without smoke nearby.

Small bars that only have the owners working there can allow smoking inside. I believe that will change in 2014.

'Coffeeshop' is indeed the term for places that sell marihuana and hash and allow you to smoke on the premises, or buy and take away (up to 5 grams). Note that pre-rolled joints may contain tobacco so tell them in case you don't want that. In general they are not allowed to sell alcohol hence the term.

This website has reviews and a map of Amsterdam coffeeshops: http://www.coffeeshop.freeuk.com/

You can also recognize them by the cannabis leaf symbol, suggestive names, a lot of plants in the windows (although that style seems to be d-fashioned these days), and the smell.

In wikipedia you can find everything about the 'drug policy of the Netherlands' in case you're interested but be ready for a mind trip so confusing you might prefer a spliff. Basically the thing that makes it difficult is that the Netherlands are bound to European laws and cannot legalize cannabis. There is a policy of 'non-enforcement' up to 5 grams.

Cecilia

Amsterdam

cile.home.xs4all.nl/travel/amsterdam_tips.htm

Edited: 6:46 pm, September 04, 2013
Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
posts: 12,915
reviews: 208
2. Re: Smoking Laws

It is rather interesting. More than one-half of the states in the US have legalized medical marijuana. Recently two states legalized "recreational marijuana". All of these states are, however, in violation of federal law. Under the Obama administration the federal government has not taken any action again sales of marijuana in these states, but this can change.

The state of Washington just legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and I have been following the procedures they are trying to create to govern and tax the sale of this drug. So I suppose it puts the citizens of some states in the US in a similar position to those who live in the Netherlands. We are very confused.

At least I will know what to expect if I wander into a coffee shop.

Fort Worth, Texas
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
posts: 11,728
3. Re: Smoking Laws

one crazy thing about the smoking laws is you can smoke pot until you white out in a coffeeshop..but you cant light a cig..unless of course they set up a separate smoking area..and i believe the smoking law prohibits the addition of smoking tobacco in joints...i could be wrong..im not the stoner i was back in the day.

Winter Haven...
posts: 3,355
reviews: 1
4. Re: Smoking Laws

I'm a stoner again after a 30 year sabbatical. Had no problem smoking "mixed" joints in coffeehouses.

MrJohnMd - You got anything on this?

Edited: 9:18 pm, September 04, 2013
Amsterdam, The...
posts: 7,909
reviews: 60
5. Re: Smoking Laws

Yeah it is interesting, I wrote my thesis about it (a long time ago but still follow the issue with interest) and about the influence it has on France and drugs tourism, France has much stricter laws.

What is very difficult to manage and explain is the 5 gram non-enforcement policy versus the suppliers of the coffeeshops (and the growers and traders who are technically highly illegal), and the storage space of the shops.

Up until the eighties the separation of 'soft' and 'hard' drugs seemed to work pretty well. Some of the coffeeshops also sold illegal 'hard' drugs and were forced to close down. People didn't slide easily from one into the other, they were seperate dealers.

Also, less Dutchies smoke cannabis than the average French person (or American even when it was illegal there). It being so widely available makes it less interesting / rebellious.

However, xtc and cocaine have gained a lot of popularity since the eighties (heroin somehow not... Is seen as a drug for losers). In the typically Dutch way you can have xtc pills tested at some parties to see if they're not too dangerous; but more and more places have body searches and do not allow drugs. Of course people still take it just before going out.

Anyway, as a tourist you don't need to worry as long as you stick to the 5 grams and don't smoke in the streets. A discreet place in a park and far away from children won't cause problems... And at outdoor festivals (without severe checks) people also tend to smoke joints out in the open, usually expats :-)

Edited: 3:02 am, September 05, 2013
Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
posts: 24,334
reviews: 73
6. Re: Smoking Laws

Are you actually asking about smoking cigarettes in Schiphol or weed (which obviously is not allowed)? You can smoke in designated area schiphol.com/Travellers/AtSchiphol/Maps/Depa…

Or are you trying to avoid smoking?

Doncaster, United...
posts: 236
reviews: 5
7. Re: Smoking Laws

Coffeshops are by law not allowed to let you smoke tobbacco in joints.. But i have been to many of amsterdams coffeshops and have never ever been stopped from smoking a joint mixed with tobbacco.. I have even smoked mixed joints in smoker friendly bars and never been questioned. Im sure there are people who have been stopped from smoking tobbacco in a coffeshop but at the end of the day who is going to check if you are or not,,as for smoking cigarettes in a coffeshop. I would say this would be stopped as you would be blatantly flouting the laws of the netherlands and of the EU.. But lets face it who wants to smoke a cigarette in a coffeshop anyway when you can light up a big fat doobie...

Winter Haven...
posts: 3,355
reviews: 1
8. Re: Smoking Laws

What Shaun said.

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
posts: 8,548
reviews: 8
9. Re: Smoking Laws

And let me sayI hope they never change the law banning tobacco sprinkled on joints of grass while sitting in a coffeeshop.

Hands down the funniest law ever

OK maybe funnier if you grew up in the 1950s like I did.

Essen, Germany
posts: 12,295
reviews: 89
10. Re: Smoking Laws

I assume that Busy-retired tries to avoid smoking:-)).