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Law bans cigarettes, clears pot in Dutch coffee shops

Rolling a joint in a Dutch coffee shop will remain legal but smokers who add a little tobacco to the mix will be breaking the law, under new rules that take effect in the Netherlands on July 1.

The ban outlaws tobacco in enclosed, public spaces but pure cannabis is exempt. The law was introduced as a health and safety measure for employees.

Mark Jacobsen of BCD, a café traders' association, said he expects enforcement will be difficult.

"If an official comes into a coffee shop and sees someone smoking a joint, he must confiscate it and send it to a lab to test whether it contains tobacco," he told the German paper Der Spiegel.
"It is such an arduous procedure that it is going to create numerous problems."

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World »

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