Amsterdam's Drug Policy

Millions of tourists visit Amsterdam each year. One of the main reasons is because of the attitude the Dutch have towards the possession and consumption of marijuana. The Netherlands, and specifically Amsterdam, is known for its liberal and progressive Drugpolicy.

The Drugpolicy of The Netherlands is difficult to explain to others who are not that familiar with the Dutch political and legal system. We will try to explain the situation around the Dutch Drugpolicy with the following questions/answers:

Is cannabis legal in The Netherlands?

No. Surpised? Let’s first get the biggest mistake made immediately straight: Lots of people think cannabis is legal within The Netherlands. Well, it’s really not…
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Is the cultivation of cannabis legal in The Netherlands?

No. The cultivation of cannabis is illegal in The Netherlands. The cultivation of cannabis may get you in big legal troubles. When busted of course.
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How do coffeeshops get their supply?

Since the cultivation is illegal, it simply falls out of the sky right below the counter of the shop. Very strange, but these miracles happen all the time in Amsterdam. Now seriously…
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What are the rules for coffeeshops?

Coffeeshop owners have to follow some very strict rules. If a coffeeshop does not follow one of the rules, it can be shut down very easily with not many possibilities for the owner to complain.
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Is there a chance The Netherlands will make cannabis completely legal in the near future?

Uhh... Don't think so! Marijuana is illegal within The Netherlands at the moment and the rules for coffeeshops became stricter the last few years.
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How about psychedelic mushrooms and those so-called ‘smartshops’?

In The Netherlands, and specifically Amsterdam, there are so-called 'Smartshops'. A smartshop is a shop which is specialized in the sales of psychoactive substances.
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What about harddrugs?

Cocaine, Heroine, XTC etc. You can complete the list yourself probably. These kinds of drugs are in The Netherlands on List I, so they’re highly illegal within The Netherlands. Just as in any other country…
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