Source: CNN 
Author: Reuters
Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998


AMSTERDAM, April 16 (Reuters) - The Dutch are less inclined to smoke
marijuana than U.S. citizens, although the drug is widely available in
Dutch coffee shops, according to a study.

The survey by the Centre for Drug Research at the University of Amsterdam
found only two to three percent of Dutch over the age of 12 had used
marijuana over a one-month period.

In the United States, where it is illegal to grow, purchase or use
marijuana, a 1996 government study concluded around five percent of the
population used the drug at least once a month, the Dutch researchers said.

For the past 20 years, Dutch over 18 have been able to buy and use small
quantities of marijuana in so-called coffee shops. There are around 300 of
these in Amsterdam alone.

The Centre for Drug Research conducted its study in three cities --
Amsterdam, Tilburg and Utrecht. Previous surveys, which concentrated solely
on Amsterdam, had suggested up to 6.5 percent of the Dutch population
regularly used marijuana.