Basing his café on the Dutch model, Mr Driver is organising a meeting of potential business owners and has been looking at sites in Margate.Although local police have come out in opposition to the café, Mr Driver is apparently determined to go ahead and has said: "It makes eminent sense to have a nice relaxing atmosphere where cannabis users, for recreational or medicinal purposes, can get together and enjoy themselves just as other people go out for a drink." Mr Driver has perfectly elucidated the contrasting attitudes of Dutch and British people when it comes to weed. British people are not relaxed when it comes to weed.
Shops selling different varieties of bud fade into the background along with the cheese and novelty condom shops.
Coffeeshops (the correct phrase), populate certain streets and you occasionally walk through a cloud of fragrant smoke.
Overall it’s no different to walking down a street full of bars and getting the occasional gust of stale beer.
This is in marked contrast to the experience of posting a reference to Amsterdam on Facebook.
While their concern for my overworked lungs is touching, there is a reason this concern has amplified since I moved to the country of legal highs. And because it’s legal to smoke cannabis, outsiders believe everyone must be doing it constantly.
In the cafés, in the tulip factories, on a barge and at large.Babies in prams are toking away while their mothers balance bongs on top of their children’s heads. It’s impossible to avoid being stoned, it just comes with the territory.And as a result I, an asthmatic, must wander the streets clutching my inhaler, desperate for a lungful of pure, unadulterated air.Or at least, this appears to be the way a lot of British people view my adopted city.The reality is far more mundane, Dutch people don’t constantly smoke weed. The only people constantly smoking weed in this city are stoners and tourists.Despite this, British people are quick to believe that Amsterdam is two steps removed from Victorian London; with a perpetual smog of cannabis obscuring the street lights and shadowy serial killers darting in and out of the head shops.