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The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal

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Blufr at Answers.com
I had started to get addicted to Blufr, the trivia game at Answers.com, but lately, I've seen too many times where the idiots that write Blufr are wrong. For example, they just told me that selling marijuana is illegal in Amsterdam. This is not true. Coffee shops have been licensed to sell small amounts of marijuana to persons over 18 since 1999. This is about the fifth time Blufr has been wrong. It grinds me to know more than the stupid trivia game. Grrrrrrr!

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Setting the record straight

Hey there,

I hope its ok with you that I respond to your comments on blufr (I am the product manager working on it). I take your feedback seriously because it's comments from people like you that keep us on our toes and making sure our content is water-tight.

I have an explanation regarding the legalization issue of marijuana in Amsterdam. If I could direct you to a wikipedia page dedicated to the drug policy of Holland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_the_Netherlands) and some specific passages, I think this might clear up the issue. (We'll use wikipedia as a reference in this issue as translating the Dutch law is beyond our capacity.)

"Cannabis remains a controlled substance in the Netherlands and both possession and production for personal use are still misdemeanors, punishable by fine. Coffee shops are also illegal according to the statutes."

This makes sense given the following facts. While it's legal for coffeeshops to sell limited quantites of marijuana, their suppliers are STILL illegal:

"So-called coffee shops are allowed to sell soft drugs openly, and to keep supplies greater than the amounts allowed by law for personal use, though they are only allowed to sell individual customers the amount allowed for personal use. The coffeeshops' wholesale suppliers, however, are still criminalized."

Furthermore, regarding taxes:

"Coffeeshops pay taxes just like any other business, though there are some special exemptions for them, mostly because they cannot show receipts for their supply of marijuana."

Thus, marijuana, while rather ambiguously defined by the NL law, is more 'decriminalized' rather than overtly 'legalized.'

With regard to any other factual errors, I'd be happy to talk about them and would appreciate your feedback.

Best Regards,


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