Forget loo rolls - shoppers queue up to buy CANNABIS in Holland after government announces coffee shop closures due to corona-virus
- Customers in Amsterdam, Utrecht and the Hague lined up in their dozens on Sunday to stock up on marijuana
- Staff set up separate lines for cash and cards as customers hurried to order supplies to prepare for quarantine
- Meanwhile sex clubs in Amsterdam's famous red-light district were also ordered to shut by 6pm yesterday
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
By Tim Stickings For Mailonline and AFP
Published: 11:59 GMT, 16 March 2020 | Updated: 13:43 GMT, 16 March 2020
Cannabis smokers queued up to stockpile weed in Holland yesterday after the country's famous 'coffee shops' were ordered to shut over corona-virus fears.
Leaving the widespread quest for pasta and toilet paper to one side, customers in Amsterdam, Eindhoven and the Hague lined up in their dozens on Sunday to stock up on marijuana.
Staff set up separate lines for cash and cards as customers hurried to order supplies for what could be a weeks-long quarantine.
Meanwhile, another popular symbol of the Netherlands is also suffering: sex clubs in Amsterdam's red-light district were ordered to shut by 6pm.
A queue of people line up outside a shop called Doctor Green - one of Holland's famous 'coffee shops' - in the Hague
yesterday after the Dutch government announced that many businesses were closing over corona-virus fears
People line up outside the Bullwackie coffee shop in the capital Amsterdam yesterday, following a televised statement
by Holland's health minister in which he announced that the establishments were closing
A lengthy queue outside a coffee shop in the Hague yesterday, with similar scenes being reported around the country
The queues built up within minutes after the Dutch health and education ministers gave a televised press conference announcing the closure of many businesses, along with all Dutch schools.
'For maybe for the next two months we're not able to get some weed so it should be nice to at least have some in the house,' one cannabis buyer in the Hague said.
'My friend called me like five minutes ago, he saw the press conference - good friend,' the Dutch shopper called Jonathan said.
Customers queued in the streets to get their hands on products such as 'Doctor', 'Bubble' and 'Purple Haze' before the doors shut.
Similar scenes were reported around the country, with pictures of long queues outside coffee shops in the capital Amsterdam and the historic university city of Utrecht.
'I wouldn't mind having a little bit of weed - keep it easy while we're at home for so long. It might be a long time in quarantine,' said an Irish woman who gave her name as Hannah as she queued in The Hague.
'I was literally just watching the press conference with my flatmate and then I just went downstairs and suddenly there's this queue of like 30 people, and all these cars arriving as well now.'
People line up to get into a coffee shop in Amsterdam yesterday, as they sought to stock up on marijuana for
what could be a weeks-long quarantine to stop the spread of corona-virus
A queue of people outside a coffee shop in Eindhoven yesterday. Cannabis is technically illegal in the Netherlands,
but it decriminalized the possession of less than five grams in 1976
People lining up outside a coffee shop in Amsterdam yesterday where the government has shut down many
businesses to stop the spread of Covid-19
People outside a coffee shop called The Point in the Hague yesterday where cannabis smokers said it would be
'nice to at least have some in the house' during a lock-down
Long lines form at a coffee shop in Eindhoven yesterday, with queues forming within minutes of the televised address
Lines also built up at Roermond near the border with Germany, amid fears that the German government would shut its borders with the Netherlands next.
Germany has already introduced strict controls for those arriving from France, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Denmark from Monday.
Cannabis is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but it decriminalized the possession of less than five grams (0.18 ounces) of the substance in 1976 under a so-called 'tolerance' policy.
The cannabis queues came despite Health Minister Bruno Bruins making an 'urgent appeal' to Dutch people during Sunday's press conference, saying: 'Do not hoard. It is not necessary.'
Prime Minister Mark Rutte will on Monday make a televised address to the nation, which has so far recorded 20 deaths from the Covid-19 disease and 1,135 infections.
In an almost hard to believe story which proves people are taking the "shit hit the fan" description of the current state of things way too literally, an Oregon police department had to warn people in a public announcement against calling 911 because they were out of toilet paper.
"It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this," police in Newport, Oregon stated in an official Facebook message. "Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance."
The national phenomena of panic-buying toilet paper is the one thing in all of this that makes least sense, unless perhaps given that markets are in nose-dive — and who knows if currencies could be next down the line — people are viewing TP as the next currency of the post-apocalypse, giving new meaning to 'dirty money'.
The Newport police statement urged people to "Be resourceful. Be patient. There is a TP shortage. This too shall pass. Just don’t call 9-1-1. We cannot bring you toilet paper." And it went so far as to offer ideas as using grocery store receipts, torn magazine pages, cotton balls, and even corn cobs as apparently the Mayans and some among Colonial Americans did.
"History offers many other options for you in your time of need if you cannot find a roll of your favorite soft, ultra plush two-ply citrus scented tissue," the department wrote...