Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Boats, Bikes & Blunts?


So , while I loved, LOVED walking the streets of Amsterdam and really getting the feel for this vibrant, multicultural city, the one thing that really got to me was the weed. I mean, I knew going into this trip that the legalization of marijuana would play a part in our life here in the Netherlands. I've visited this country before and have been staying here for the last two and a half weeks. However, if you are not a pot smoker {as I am not}, then it really hits you hard when you are walking the streets, admiring the sights and taking it all in, and POW! a heavy hit of marijuana smoke hits you.

When it first happened I wasn't bothered by it. I expected it. When it happened a second, third and fourth time, I wasn't anymore bothered by it than cigarette smoke. But while I was taking Jake for a walk outside the restaurant we were having dinner {while we waited for our food} there was this couple right by the door that was smoking. It was so strong and intense that I thought I -or God forbid Jake- would get a contact high (can that happen?). I was so thankful in that moment that we decided to eat inside the restaurant.

I loath cigarettes and can never understand why people smoke. It is the number one thing that I dislike about Europe, that there are so many smokers. Maybe it's where I live in California or how I was raised but smoking to me is so dumb (yes, I said it). But I would never tell someone they weren't allowed to smoke; it's their life after all. And the same goes for people who choose to smoke marijuana. Where as it's not the lifestyle I choose to live, I'm in no position to condemn or tell others how to live their lives. I'm open minded to this liberalism and I'm a full believer in people living their lives with their own terms. With that said though, shouldn't there be some sort of rules set in place as to where people can smoke cigarettes or marijuana?

In California, you would never see someone smoking near a park or place where there are children. There are rules as to how close you can smoke near a school or special zones within restaurants. In Europe, they have really cracked down on the ability for smokers to smoke inside restaurants, but I see parents smoking cigarettes at the parks, at school functions and around young children. When it came to pot smoking in Amsterdam, they were smoking in some bars and restaurants. Obviously, not places to take children.


This is just some food for thought and me sharing my experience. I think Amsterdam and the Netherlands as a whole is a marvelous place, and a country I could see settling in one day. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic and if you have experienced anything like this? And for those who have visited or live in Colorado, is this what's it like?? I'm so curious to how others view this unique topic.


14 comments:

  1. I'm 100℅ with you! When I hear legal marijuana my first reaction is, wow that's cool! But I don't smoke and never tried marijuana. Once I think about my children and people smoking at restaurants near my family, it doesn't sound that good anymore!!
    Beautiful city, thanks for sharing!!! Miss you!

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    1. Yes, Irma! The idea of it and the benefits to the state might be a good thing, however, when I think about people not being respectful of others while doing it, makes me second guess this option.
      I miss you, too!

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  2. I don't like smoking either, and I have absolutely no problem with marijuana, but what I think both of them come down to common courtesy. It may be legal, and I may be all for your right to do it, but don't be a jerk-smoke it away from my face.

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    1. Common courtesy, yes. It's the same with cigarettes! It's your choice to do it but please respect those who don't. There just needs to be certain rules in place. Thank you for your opinion!!

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  3. Even I hate smokers and I don't understand the logic behind it. Why to do something that's going to kill you? I'm glad to hear that California has strict rules about this.

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    1. Yeah, I don't think I will ever understand why people smoke. I get that it can be an addiction, but why even start? Thank you for reading and for sharing your opinion, Aishwarya!

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  4. Luckily I don't think you guys would be in any danger of getting a contact high from walking through a cloud of smoke on the street. I have no experience with marijuana, but I would imagine you'd have to be in a very enclosed space for a while to feel any sort of effect. I've even heard that 'contact high' is a myth. Who knows?

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    1. Lol thanks for the info, Miranda! It was just so dang strong!

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  5. Ewww...I hate the smell of pot. I use to not mind it. In fact, I use to love it because it would remind me of my visits to Venice Beach, but then I learned the hard way that I was allergic to it. Since my reaction, I can't stomach even a hint of the stuff. I am not super thrilled about it being legalized because I don't have a ton of faith in smokers being courteous to others with it. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should...especially in public areas where the rest of us might walk into your cloud.

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    1. Oh gosh, I can't imagine how you found out you were allergic?! No fun! In Amsterdam, for the most part I felt like people were walking and keeping to themselves. But in a public, family restaurant?? I agree that if it is legalized in some more US states, I don't think that everyone will be so courteous. Thank you for sharing your experience and opinion!!

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  6. I have no problem with it being legal anywhere but I think it should have stricter laws than you've described. In Maine, we can't smoke regular cigarettes in public because it's a health hazard. We can't take alcoholic drinks outside (or off property if we're in an outdoors restaurant) and drink them on the sidewalk. Do what you want but don't do it where it will affect others.

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    1. I agree, do what you want but don't let it affect others!! I like your laws in Maine... we have pretty strict laws in CA, too! Thank you for your opinion, Robin! I appreciate it!

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  7. I've never been to Amsterdam and that whole pot smoke life style is one reason I would not want to go there! It seems like a city built to embrace the pot heads! And if I was a parent I would be so mad if people were doing it near where children were! To bad you guys didn't get to check out the Anne Frank House, I've heard its very interesting.
    ~Amber
    @hungrymountaineer.com

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  8. Ashleigh, I had similar thoughts when I was in Paris. I'm so used to being a Cali girl and no smoking in restaurants, but people were smoking all over, in every restaurant and cafe and I didn't like it at all.

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