Coffeeshops in the Red Light District, and Amsterdam in general, are a big part of the culture and something that you should certainly experience if you wish to, when visiting Amsterdam.
Did you know that Mellow Yellow was the first (cannabis) coffeeshop in the world? It was founded in 1972 in a former bakery on the Weesperzijde street in Amsterdam. The name comes from a song by Donovan, which refers to a time when it was said that you could get high from smoking banana peels. The 2nd coffeeshop in the world is Rusland (translated: Russia), which was founded in 1975. It’s located on a street called Rusland in Amsterdam. A few months later coffeeshop The Bulldog opened its doors, the first of many coffeeshops in the Red Light District. The first bulldog is still located at the Oudezijds Achterburgwal, in the legendary Red Light District. The first coffeeshop in the world – Mellow Yellow – doesn’t exist anymore, as it got destroyed by a fire. Did you know that there are currently 167 coffeeshops in Amsterdam? In 1995, the Dutch capital still had 350 (cannabis) coffeeshops.
At this time (2017) it is still illegal to produce weed in the Netherlands, except for personal use. Coffeeshops are therefor forced to buy their weed supplies from criminal drug gangs because of the large quantities they need. The Netherlands has been known internationally for decades for its flexible soft drugs policy. The new Dutch cabinet is planning for the partial legalisation of weed production. The new government weed will be produced locally and then spread among six to ten municipalities. It is a test to see if the legal production of weed decreases crime and if the weed can contain less harmful substances. Municipalities can sign up for the experiment. The intention is that mainly medium and large Dutch cities participate. One organisation is given a government license to grow weed.
Enough with the politics! During our tours we’ll show you several coffeeshops in the Red Light District and tell you all about Dutch drug culture! We’ve already listed a few of the coffeeshops below, in the Red Light district, and other parts of Amsterdam, for you to check out – Happy smoking!