History, Hookers & Hashish
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Are you going to visit Amsterdam and are you planning to use drugs? Then this article might be a good read for you!
We thought it would be good to publish some useful tips for those would like to experience (soft) drugs in Amsterdam. There are a lot misunderstandings when it comes to drugs in the Netherlands. Before we go into that, we’d like to let you know how the Dutch think about soft drugs in general. Most Dutchmen don’t consider weed or hash dangerous. And most of them do not have a problem with coffeeshops or people who occasionally use soft drugs.
Fun fact: Did you know that only 7% of the Dutch population uses cannabis?
Use Dutch population: 7%
Use Dutch youth: 7.8%
Number of hospitalizations: 89 (main diagnoses)
Number of selling points: 614
Use Dutch population: 78%
Use Dutch youth: 43%
Number of hospitalizations: 6.473 (main diagnoses)
Number of selling points: 70.000
Source: National Drug Monitor (Annual Report 2012, published November 5, 2013)
The Netherlands has a reputation for being a country that likes to do business and for having a liberal society; These are just a few reasons why we allow cannabis in our country. Tolerating soft drugs doesn’t mean that everyone uses it, in fact, most citizens of the Netherlands don’t even use cannabis.
During our tours in the Red Light District our guides can tell you much more about drugs in the Netherlands. We’ll share all the things you didn’t know about this subject. For example: Did you know that producing cannabis for commercial purposes in the Netherlands is totally illegal? Hear more fun facts during our tours.
Did you know that the revenue of the illegal and legal drug industry in the Netherlands is included into the Dutch Gross Domestic Product (GDP)? This might sound weird, but it’s true! Since 25 June 2014, the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics includes the trade of illegal activities in the Dutch GDP. A few examples of these illegale activities: XTC, cocaine, heroin, smuggling, etc. The trade in these illegal activities are estimated by the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics and based on police sources.
The graph below shows the trade in legal and illegal activities. According to the Bureau of Statistics the trade in cannabis is 1.039.000.000 euro.
The GDP of the Netherlands in 2010 was 586.7 billion euros, but after including the trade in these activities the Dutch GDP increases with 44.7 billion. So the Netherlands have become 7.5 percent ‘richer’.
We believe that it would be best if most drugs would be legalised. It seems that we are far away from having that, so therefore we are providing you with 10 tips on how to use drugs in Amsterdam. First thing first: a “cafe” means “pub” throughout the Netherlands; a “coffeeshop” is where one procures cannabis. While marijuana is not technically legal in the Netherlands, the possession and purchase of small amounts (<5 gram) of “soft drugs”(ie marijuana, hashish, space cakes and mushroom-based truffles) is allowed and users won’t be prosecuted for smoking or carrying this amount. This means that coffeeshops are actually conducting an illegal business – but this is tolerated to a certain extent.
The Dutch government has let individual municipalities decide for themselves whether to enforce the national weed pass. Therefor there are almost no municipalities which have implemented this pass.
So, how about hard drugs? Drugs like XTC, cocaine, MDMA, speed and LSD (which are all illegal in Holland by the way). We assume that those who’d like to use hard drugs in Amsterdam, have already experienced some drugs before. Most of the drug incidents in Amsterdam happen to those who know too little of using drugs and often it’s the hard drugs that cause damage to those people. Information is king on this subject!
Smart shops – which offer organic uppers and natural hallucinogens – have long been know for selling magic mushrooms. But in 200, the government banned them. Nearly 200 varieties of fungus then went on the forbidden list – though conspicuously missing was the magic truffle.
Fun Fact: A smart shop is a place where you can purchase magic mushrooms (a.k.a. “magic truffles”). Counter staf advise on the nuances of dosages and possible effects. Listen to them – their advice will help you with a good and safe trip.
Magic truffles are legal in Amsterdam and in the rest of Holland. In smart shops they are named “Magic Truffles”. Scientifically speaking truffles are not mushrooms and therefor they do not fall within the reach of the Opium Act. Magic truffles are allowed to be produced, purchased, sold and consumed in the Netherlands. In most English speaking countries magic truffles are called magic mushrooms.
Drugs are not bad perse, you just gotta be informed on how to take them. The staff in (cannabis) coffeeshops and smart shops are more than willing to inform you (on how to use drugs in Amsterdam). You could also go to Wikipedia to get more information on these drugs.
This is a smart shop in the Netherlands. It sells magic mushrooms/truffles. Smart shop Kokopelli is located in the Red Light District.
There are many street dealers in Amsterdam’s city centre. They stand on Leidse Square, Rembrandt Square, Waterloo Square and in the Red Light District. If they see that you’re not interested in cocaine or XTC, they will ignore you. They usually stand on the Warmoesstraat, Stoofsteeg & Oudezijds Achterburgwal in Amsterdam. These street dealers always sell fake stuff and can get aggressive. Don’t buy it. You’ll get ripped off!
TIP: DO NOT buy drugs on the streets from dealers. They sell rubbish and can get very aggressive!
If you’re really keen on buying XTC, cocaine, MDMA or any other illegal drug like that, we’d advice you to buy it in a club from someone who’s having a blast. Usually it’s not that difficult to spot someone who has a bit more fun and energy than the rest of the crowd. Ask that person what he’s or she’s having and if there is anything for sale.
Seriously, don’t buy it on the street from dealers! Especially not on Leidse Square, the red light district, Museum Square or around Rembrandt Square – the more touristic areas. These street dealers sell fake stuff or even worse: White heroin as cocaine. This happened in the end of 2014; a few tourists bought fake cocaine from a street dealer and passed away because it was actually white heroine.
It would be great to have the opportunity to get your drugs tested in every bar, club or festival. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in Amsterdam yet. Hopefully the Dutch government will allow this in the near future. As we all know that drugs are being used in pretty much every club in the world. Lot of locals are using the services of that drug test lab. Or they go online to search for a drug report.
In Amsterdam, there are several places where you can actually can get your hard drugs tested legally. Although XTC, MDMA, cocaine are illegal in the Netherlands, it’s still very popular here. There are many ways to get it tested in a way that is totally legal in the Netherlands! This is what most locals do before using it.
In the last week of 2015 we interviewed August de Loor who is the founder of Amsterdam’s Drug Consultancy Bureau. We wanted to know more about those legal drug tests in Amsterdam which is a great way to reduce risks among drug users. CLICK HERE to read this exclusive interview and to get some tips from this expert.
During our tours, our local guides can give you more tips for using drugs in Amsterdam and tell you more about the drug culture in Holland. They can answer most of your questions. Wanna know what’s legal and what not? Or would like to know why illegal drugs are tested by legally by organizations of the city of Amsterdam? Join our tours, ask our local guide and we’ll tell you all about it!