To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Whew

Wandered out of the back end of the time warp that was the last week. My head is becoming an exceedingly scary thing to mess with...A few thoughts before I try to re-grasp the concept of time and leap back into regular blogging...

Once again I am smitten with how smoke-friendly Amsterdam and Holland as a whole is. In a country where a multitude of drugs are, for the most part, legal; I always find myself most impressed with my ability to light cigarette anywhere save a hospital. How long this will last is another question. Over the past few years repeated attempts have been made to enact smoking bans in the country/city, including one that is threatening to make the whole country (coffee shops included) smoke-free beginning in 2008. Locals seem to shrug it off as something that hasn't happened yet, and if it does, probably won't happen when the bureaucrats say it will. My guess is that some weak ban passes, giving lenient exemptions for coffee shops, cafes and restaurants until some time in the future. Work it in slow, train the people well.

This story caught my eye last week, most notably the response from the police spokesman. [emphasis mine]
March 30--The Dutch health minister will order an investigation into the health risks of hallucinogenic mushrooms, after a French tourist jumped to her death after eating them.

Pressure for an outright ban grew in parliament after the girl, identified as 17-year-old Gaelle Caroff, jumped off an overpass earlier this month.

Her mother, Nathalie, was quoted by the newspaper De Pers as saying that hallucinogenic mushrooms were responsible for her daughter's death and should be outlawed.

Amsterdam police ruled the death a suicide.

[...]

Lawmaker Aleid Wolfsen, of the centre-left Labor party, which is part of the governing coalition, said it was difficult in practice to keep people from trying hallucinogenic mushrooms.

"Some of them grow wild here - it's difficult of course to outlaw them from growing."

And from a different article, that spokesman reaction:
It is terrible when your child dies because of such a tragic event. However, we can not prohibit the sale of mushrooms as this is national policy.
I would say that the smart shops did seem to be a bit more cautious and careful and I had the distinct feeling that they had suffered backlash and crackdown over the past few months. Anecdotal at best, but that was my impression at least.

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