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Amsterdam Drugs - The Facts

Soft Drugs & The Law In Amsterdam:

Since the 1970s the Amsterdam authorities have issued licenses for the coffeeshops to supervise the sale of drugs classified as ‘soft’ under Dutch law, and now every authorised shop has to display a green and white license in their front window. These permits allow the proprietors to sell a maximum of 5 grams of ‘hash’ (cannabis resin) or ‘weed’ (leaf marijuana) to customers over the age of 18.


Whilst marijuana is not strictly speaking ‘legal’ it’s decriminalized status combined with practical legislation, control and taxation have produced policies and customs that have contributed to making both the shops and Amsterdam famous across the world.


But no matter what the myths and legends about the town, nor how tolerant the Amsterdam authorities may be about ‘soft drugs’ - there are of course limits to any hospitality, so please do be aware of the customs and laws surrounding the sale and consumption of soft drugs whilst here.


Laws At A Glance:


Hard Drugs


1/ Hard Drugs are illegal in Amsterdam and across the Netherlands. Possession, usage and distribution are punishable by law. This includes Heroin, Cocaine, Ecstasy, LSD, Amphetamines and their derivatives.

Marijuana & Cannabis:

2/ ‘Soft Drugs’ have been ‘decriminalised’ which means that individuals are permitted to buy and carry up to 5 grams of hash or weed in a licensed coffeeshop.

3/ Marijuana & Cannabis products may be used within private houses, coffeeshops and some other areas (do ask if in any doubt) although officially not in public places, including all forms of public transport.


'Soft' Drugs:


Herbal tonics and other psycho-active concoctions are available from a few ‘Smart shops’ across the capital.


Although recently officially prohibited in the Netherlands, 'magic mushrooms' may still be purchased in some Smart shops - although this practice is set to end when the legislation is enforced.

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