The Health Ministry says the ban will apply to cafes that sell marijuana, known as coffee shops. But this being Holland, which for centuries has experimented with social liberalism, there's a loophole: The ban covers tobacco but not marijuana, which is technically illegal anyway.
But that still leaves coffee shops and their customers in a bind. Dutch and other European marijuana users traditionally smoke pot in fat, cone-shaped joints mixed with tobacco.
"It's the world upside down: In other countries they look for the marijuana in the cigarette. Here they look for the cigarette in the marijuana," said Jason den Enting, manager of coffee shop Dampkring.
Compared to the situation here in the US with marijuana laws, I still find Holland to be a .. breath of fresh air. So get over it. Life doesn't end with a smoking ban in bars and restaurants. Enjoy a brownie, roll a fat one, take it home and pop in a DVD. Hey, life could be worse.