What kind of a joint IS this?

November 20, 2008

Blog Guy, The Dutch take a very liberal approach to marijuana use. You can buy marijuana in coffee shops over there. How is that going for them?

Well, they’re having a “weed summit” this weekend to discuss that very thing. I got a copy of the working agenda. It’s still secret, so don’t share it with anybody:

8 a.m. Stop by a “coffee shop” for “breakfast.”

9 a.m. Try to remember what we’re doing here. Did anybody write it down?

9:15 a.m. Three-hour snack time.

1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Hold our ears and dance in those clunky wooden shoes we wear.

2 p.m. Try to decide if we live in The Netherlands or Holland or “That Dutch Place.”

3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Unless we can remember what we’re supposed to be doing, it’s back to the old “coffee shop.”

So you think the “weed summit” will be worthwhile, Blog Guy?

What summit?

Assorted joints at a coffee shop in the Dutch city of Bergen op Zoom. Dutch cities will exchange information at a “weed summit” in Almere, November 21, 2008. REUTERS/Jerry Lampen

Join the Oddly Enough blog network


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Wow! A whole new cncept for the “cup that cheers”: coffee joints.

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

Well, it’s nice to see cities getting together on joint ventures these days.

*crickets chirping*

Posted by Bandage | Report as abusive

sort of a patronizing image of a marijuana smoker. I’ve smoked with surgeons, lawyers and stockbrokers. all highly motivated and “on the ball” people. marijuana is like wine and beer when it comes to appreciation, there is just as much character in a joint of kush than there is in a glass of vintage port, except its not poison and you can’t die from ingesting too much. these events are surprisingly well organized and just as with alcohol there are people who don’t know their limit.
also Holland (netherlands, etc) has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, lowest prison population, and people behave in a civilized rational manner for the most part. it is a model for realistic drug policy and freedom.

Posted by jeremy | Report as abusive

Jeremy, I’m sincere when I ask this question; Can you provide any links to data that supports what you’re saying?

Posted by Bandage | Report as abusive

You know… Marijuana is more than just a “drug”. Properly cultivated (without the THC in it) it can and should replace most of our major textiles. It’s cheap and it will grow anywhere. The government spends millions of dollars to burn off wild hemp plants (without THC). The kicker is, by burning these plants, they’re spreading the seeds. Which only goes on to produce more wild hemp which only makes the government spend more money.

Funny thing… we import all our hemp for textiles. You ask me to cite MY sources, and I’ll tell you to search the internet. NORML.

Posted by Kay | Report as abusive

I had a roommate in the military. Every night, he came back to our room drunk and stoned. I would find him in the morning on the floor, where he had soiled himself. One morning he woke up to find that his right thumb was missing, and he had no idea what had happened. True story. (After a week of this, I got a different roommate.)

He wanted to be a dentist. Anybody out there have a dentist missing a right thumb?

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

Dr. Doll,
Sounds like your friend had serious substance
abuse problems. The difference is that many
people would blame the *drug*, (in this
case marijuana) and not the *drink*, (people
don’t usually soil themselves when just stoned)
and not this particular individuals use of both.
I’ve also met many people who drink and/or use
marijuana regularly who live ordinary lives.

Here’s a link to crime rates in the
Netherlands vs the US- They don’t have the
lowest, but its lower than most and comparable
to the US, where soft drugs like marijuana
are the targets of a failed multi Billion dollar
anti drug “War”. Also, I’ve been to Holland
and I have to agree that the people there
seem more relaxed, but that could be because they
are Dutch, not because they are stoned.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index? qid=1005121101168

Posted by Sanity Jihad | Report as abusive

Hey, I’m a responsible stoner, I just rather smoke the reefer instead of getting drunk. Its not for everyone, but I like it and thats all that matters in my mind. Also I run my own contracting firm and build houses and major additions all over. So don’t think that all stoners are complete idiots that have nfi whats going on. ;p

Posted by JD | Report as abusive

Shh, I can´t hear my own thought on line, online
Wonder full, wonderful

Posted by armstrongfl | Report as abusive

Dr Doll so i take it you have proof positive that it was the marijuana that caused your roommate to soil himself and lose a thumb and not remember it.

As at Uni i had plenty of friends who would drink only many ending up sick or soiled or injured and not remember anything the next day. No they werent stoners

Posted by Maverick | Report as abusive

[…] A fellow blogger wrote a fantastic post today on “Oddly Enough » Blog Archive » What kind of a joint IS this …”Here’s ONLY a quick extractI’ve smoked with surgeons, lawyers and stockbrokers. all highly motivated and “on the ball” people. marijuana is like wine and beer when it comes to appreciation, there is just as much character in a joint of kush than there is in a … […]

Posted by Alcohol Posts » Oddly Enough » Blog Archive » What kind of a joint IS this … | Report as abusive

The Netherlands is doing a little better with the crime rate than the US: (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_m ur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita)
e.g this list shows the numbers of murders per 1000 people:
US = 0.042802 (24 on list)
NL = 0.0111538 (51 on list)

Which is amazing for a country with a high population density (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co untries_by_population_density)
NL = 395 Pop per km² (25 on list) Which makes it comparable with Rhode Island (387.35 Pop per km²)
US = 31 Pop per km² (180 on list)

What is to be said about this approach is that it will make the usage better controllable (and taxable for the government), which also helps when you want to do something about this because you have your target group in the open. I agree that it sometimes is useful in the medical world, but just like alcohol, drugs is still a substance that can be addictive and when used in too high of a volume can be dangerous, not only for self but when used before accessing the public road can be lethal.

Posted by Dutchy | Report as abusive

Not A pot smoker now but I used to be a social one. I have plenty of friends that still smoke… alot. And each and every one of them is a functioning pothead. They run their own businesses, work in the corporate world and some… well they just get by. They have to work and keep it together because they have to support their habit just like I need to work to pay my bills and so I can pick up a case of beer or a bottle of tequila or wine every once in a while. Do my friends have bad memories though… hell yeah. It definitely affects the mind especially if yoo smoke like they do. Everything in moderation. And by everything I mean, Liquor, Beer and pot no hard drugs.

Posted by Loo | Report as abusive

JD, Maverick,

You seem to think that I was trying to make some kind of a point. Did I not simply write a narrative? Did I condemn either pot or alcohol? No. The insinuations you read into my narrative exist in your mind. I have heard, you know, that smoking pot can make a person paranoid. I am sorry, you two, but you really make this too easy.

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

here is a link to recent statistics comparing the netherlands to the U.S.
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index? qid=1005121101168

on the overall murder list, we rank 24, they rank 51 out of 62.

it is no secret that drug law in the U.S., like prohibition law in the 30’s, creates a vast black market.
prohibition caused the rise of the mafia and ushered in an age of violence in americas cities.

marijuana prohibition does the same, it gives money to gangs and cartels, money that could be the governments, that could be used for schools and medical services.

there comes a time when any sane american must ask, do we want our cities infested with gangs and violence, or should some people be able to get high in the same way people are allowed to get drunk.

it’s really that quetion, we so far have chosen violence and gangs, which i guess has more entertainment value.

Posted by jeremy | Report as abusive

what on earth is the difference between weed and hash?

Posted by steven | Report as abusive

“weed” is the dried flowers of the cannabis plant (sativa and/or indica strains), called “buds”. “hash” is the compacted resin from these flowers, more potent and easy to manage but less floral, it looks like light brown putty.

just a plant. no process, no additives, grow and enjoy.

as opposed to alcohol which is poisonus rotten grain.

Posted by jeremy | Report as abusive

Ironic. My Anti-spam word was “toast.”

I had a friend in high school. He was in a class for the entire semester and just one year later, he couldn’t remember me or the class. “I was stoned most of the time.” he said. I never smoked and, surprise, I CAN remember several losers like him.

BTW: “HIGHly motivated,” and “on the BALL,” are absolutely precious. It is truly great how you carefully did not write, ‘MY lawyer’, ‘MY surgeon,’ or ‘MY stockbroker.’ Thanks, Jeremy. Oh, and I love the ‘gramer’ and ‘sytnacks.’ Do you by any chance shill for the DEA?

Posted by Shawn Hendricks | Report as abusive

Hi Shawn =)

maybe your friend was broken to begin with?
I have been high on many an occasion and i remember just fine.
the only times I don’t remember things are when i got too drunk in my youth, and blacked out.
that’s legal right now so that’s ok though right?

I’m also sorry for my gramer’ and ’sytnacks.’

I feel the same contempt for the drunken idiots who stumble out of bars on weekends, so i understand.
but they are not all stereotypical alcoholics are they?
why should marijuana users be different?
we aren’t all brain-dead idiots who crave doritos constantly.
I suspect this image is implanted in the uneducated populace to secure the validity of unconstitutional law.
look into marijuana law, and why it was demonized in the late 30’s. I won’t offer any guidance but that, find out yourself.
while your at it, check out the income tax. if you’re not willing to believe unconstitutional law can be enforced with plain old fear and misinformation.

Posted by jeremy | Report as abusive

Neither alcohol nor marijuana should be viewed as harmless. While some studies indicate that alcohol in moderation can be beneficial, there are studies showing that even as few as two drinks a day can cause a multitude of such alcohol-related diseases as liver damage and osteonecrosis (death of the femoral head).

As for marijuana, studies abound that it is much more carcinogenic than tobacco cigarettes.

What people do with their bodies is their business, provided that they don’t turn to taxpayers to address their illnesses (Social Security, socialized medicine, etc.)

But I see side effects from alcohol and drug use aside from health issues. Today, people frequently have a few drinks, smoke a joint or whatever in their homes, and so on. The problem arises when their judgment is impaired, and they do things they wouldn’t otherwise do.

Specifically, people often send ill-considered e-mails. It is so easy to do, and people will send an e-mail when they wouldn’t make a telephone call.

Case in point: A partner in a law firm drank a few beers, fired off an e-mail to the firm’s president,and reconsidered the next morning. He sent an e-mail apologizing, and explaining that he had a drink or two and regreted the decision.

The firm’s president e-mailed him: “Be in my office at 2:00.” There, the president said: “I don’t care if you drink, whether you have a drinking problem or what. I want you out of this firm. Now get out.”
And that was that.

Arguments that marijuana should be legalized because alcohol is legal carry no wait with me. I do neither. I’ve never seen anything good come from either alcohol or marijuana use. Nor do I smoke tobacco. I respect my body too much to do any of those things. As for alcohol being legal, just because it is legal to do something does not mean one should do it.

Jeremy: Which constitution are you referring to? And what constitutional provision does marijuana restriction violate?

Posted by Dr. Doll | Report as abusive

Hey! That’s enough! If you guys want to make serious points about serious issues, you can just take it to some other blog!

Posted by Robert Basler | Report as abusive