Regarding the selling of weed, hash and marijuana there is a tolerance drugs policy in Holland. It sounds very strange but selling cannabis is against the law and not allowed, but only tolerated without a punishment. The Dutch drugs policy is a big succes against crime. Since this law is activ the crime rate in the Netherlands went down and the authorities do have much better control and influence on the market. Shops which sell cannabis have to pay taxes so the government can even control their sales. People may smoke cannabis, this is legal and causes a problem for dealers and criminals because people don’t buy any drugs from them. The risk to get sick is minimized and the quality of the drugs is guaranteed.
There is another point in the dutch drugs policy which they call the backdoor policy. A coffeeshop may buy and sell cannabis but suppliers my not plant and sell cannabis to a coffeeshop.
Drugs policy in Amsterdam
The selling of cannabis is linked to the following rules.:
No sales of alcohol
Hard drug sales are not allowed
Minimum age of 18
Per person is a maximum of five grams of cannabis allowed
It is not allowed to advertise drugs
Because advertising is not allowed you can recognize a coffeeshop by the red-yellow-green Ethiopian flag.
It depends on the city of Amsterdam how many coffeeshops are allowed to deal with cannabis. At the moment there are 225 coffeeshops located in and around the center of Amsterdam and under the drugs policy.
Foreigners may visit Amsterdam coffeeshops
Amsterdam is visited by 5 million foreigners every single year and a lot of them want to visit the coffeeshops. In 2012 the government decided in a new law that the coffeeshops are closed for tourists. Only residents where allowed to buy cannabis. Therefore they had to register themselves. This law has been dropped which means that everybody, including tourists can visit the coffeeshops to buy and smoke cannabis. The law was dropped because the mayor fear that this drugs policy would increase the street trade and crime in Amsterdam.
Quality of cannabis
Tourists should be aware that cannabis which is available in the Dutch coffeeshops is a much stronger and better quality than they would expect. Do not order joints or space cake which is prepared (pre-rolled) already. If you do have any questions don’t hesitate to contact one of the staffmembers. They will give you any advice you need. They know everything about the drugs policy of the Netherlands.