I was in Amsterdam recently, a very cosmopolitan city, drop-dead gorgeous and great fun. There are people from every conceivable culture in Amsterdam, and it's great fun to meet people from foreign lands:
The Dutch have a super liberal society! After seeing some of the local the skanks from a red light district tour, we got a tour of the coffee houses where sales of Marijuana is “tolerated”.
We don't speak Netherlandish, so we needed a tour, and we hired a real hippie to give us a tour and explain how the coffee houses operate!
Mr. Hippie explained that while Marijuana remains illegal, it is “tolerated” in the coffee houses, where they sell pot like cigarettes. It’s sold either loose of in pre-rolled packs like cigarettes:
The coffee houses are well-lit and friendly, not scary at all. They smell funny, but that's just the mix of stale hippie and pot smoke:
The Bull Dog coffee house in Amsterdam
If marijuana is ever legalized, I suspect that the pot cigarettes would look something like theirs, small things, only about two inches long:
Machine-generated Marijuana cigarettes
I thought that it was ironic that such an obiedient and rule-based society whould be so liberal and it does lead to some ironic situations.
You may only smoke pot here, please!
One of the biggest surprises was how much Amsterdam is like California, where you can openly smoke illegal drugs, but you will be chastised for smoking a cigarette! Here is a picture of a no smoking sign in an Amsterdam coffee shop:
The Dutch are a very rule-oriented people, as we learned one day when we boarded a train and received a lecture of train rules from the conductor! In this case, I actually witnessed a poor woman who dared to light a tobacco cigarette in a room full of pot smoke! She was severely chastised!
I thought that this was the ultimate irony, given that second-hand pot smoke is a leading cause of Hippies.
See my full notes here on Amsterdam coffee house debauchery.