Although most “coffeeshops” do serve coffee, they offer a far wider range of products than you are probably used to.
The rules: A lot people think that drugs are legal in the Netherlands, but this is not true. The Dutch law prohibits the sale and possession of drugs, but the sale and use of soft-drugs (drugs with limited effects and risks – hashish and marijuana) is tolerated (ie. not prosecuted) within some general rules. Since 1st of December sale of mushrooms has been banned.
These are the main rules regarding buying soft-drugs:
Technically you are allowed to smoke soft-drugs anywhere you are allowed to smoke, but in most public spaces this will not be appreciated. The best places to smoke are the coffeeshops and the Vondelpark (if the weather holds up). Because of the Dutch smoking ban, staff is not allowed to serve you in the smoking areas in the shops. Following the smoking ban, smoking is prohibited in all short stay apartments in Amsterdam.
Want to know more about soft-drugs? Located in the middle of the Red Light District The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum offers a year-round exhibition on this remarkable plant, its history and use. In the Netherlands Thanksgiving is not an official holiday, but every year in this week a much wider celebrated event takes place: the Cannabis Cup. It is a 5 day festival, during which new items and products will be showed and Amsterdam’s best coffeeshops submit their top-products to the contest.
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