07/05/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Marijuana Loopholes In New Netherlands Tobacco Policy

When a smoking ban comes into force in the Netherlands next Tuesday, it may kill the buzz for people who like to smoke their cannabis with tobacco. But some owners of the famous Dutch coffee shops are staying mellow.

Fittingly, in a land renowned for its relaxed attitude to drug laws, the new rules contain a few loopholes.

People will still be able to smoke pure cannabis joints in around 700 coffee shops, something some tourists -- notably from the United States -- already often do.

Also, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops will be allowed to set up a separate room or glass partition behind which people can smoke. But customers will not be served in these areas to protect staff.

This dispensation makes the Dutch law more relaxed than smoking restrictions in some other European countries where smoking is banned completely in bars, restaurants and other public spaces.

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