Up to 19 November 2012, many of the coffeeshops in the Southern provinces of the Netherlands required you to have a “weedpass”, an official membership card which allowed you to buy drugs. These would be issued only to the locals. The idea was to stop the drug tourism. Nowadays an ID and the proof of residency (extract from the Municipal Personal Records Database) suffice and “Wietpas” does not exist anymore. Amsterdam has always been an exception, so any tourist could enter Amsterdam coffee shops and buy some weed.
You’ll find about 200 coffeeshops in Amsterdam, so there is always one close to your location. Although Amsterdam coffee shops are not allowed to make any advertising, you will be able to identify them easily. Official Dutch coffee shops have a green and white licence sticker in the window. In order to enter the coffeeshops in Amsterdam, you must be 18 or over and have an ID. Since coffeeshops are not allowed to do any advertising, you will generally not find any details posted on the door or even inside. Just ask the person at the counter for the menu, and they’ll give you what you need. A general rule of thumb is: the more expensive, the stronger the weed. For inexperienced smokers a gram of weed will get you high about 6 times and you should be able to make at least 3 joints nice from a single gram. Ask for advice if you are not sure, these people are here to make sure everything is safe.
The Netherlands have a special tolerance policy on soft drugs, but lets look at the laws:
– Possession of drugs is punishable, but with a maximum of 5 grams of cannabis (weed or hash) the police will just seize the drugs. You can give them up and you will not be prosecuted
– If you have more soft drugs than the quantity for personal use (5 gram) you will be fined and risk a prison sentence
– Minors are not allowed to have any drugs, the tolerance policy does not apply to them, so you must be 18 or over to buy drugs
– Growing weed at home is illegal, however 5 plants or less you can give them up and you will generally not be prosecuted
– Hard drugs are not allowed
– Import and export of drugs is illegal
– You cannot smoke in public. You can smoke weed only in Amsterdam coffeeshops
Touristic Amsterdam coffeeshops
Some tips: Tips and hints for buying marijuana and cannabis from Amsterdam coffee shops.
When you would like to try growing your own Amsterdam quality buds at home, check out the seed shop of Royal Queen Seeds. They have been developing high quality cannabis seeds for over 20 years and guarantee shipping to the whole european union.
Everything started in the 70’s with the growing hippy community. Weed and hashish were illegal at that time, but places like the Paradiso or the Melkweg were famous to have great artists playing and people would enjoy some good music there while sharing a joint. That’s how in those music places we could find some house dealers. The dealers were though tolerated to do their business inside the houses.
Amsterdam coffee shops, not to be confused with cafés, have been a part of the city since the 1970s, when the Dutch government made a clear distinction in the law between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drugs. Unlike Amsterdam’s fully legal smart shops, Amsterdam coffeeshops have always existed in a legal grey area.
This small little coffeeshop has good quality herbs and a great atmosphere. The Green House is winner of 38 High Times Cannabis Cups. It delivers some of the best cannabis in Amsterdam and it is a great hangout for a traveler in Amsterdam. You can find many interesting pictures on the wall of celebs that visited the Green House. The coffee shop is situated nicely in the red light district next to a canal.
!! UPDATE 2017 : permanently closed on January 1, 2017 due to new government legislation – Mellow Yellow is / was one of the first ever coffee shops in Amsterdam. It was established in 1967. It is a bit old and outdated, so this isn’t a coffeeshop you pick for the nice interior but still great for chilling and smoking.
Near to the Leidseplein, Dolphins has comfy wicker chairs, table football and a pool table. The dolphin theme is followed through in the decor. Downstairs is an under-water décor seating area with comfortable couches and free WiFi internet access. For anybody looking for a warm, friendly and relaxed place to spend a lazy afternoon, The Dolphin is worth the effort.
Great coffeeshop and world famous because the crew of the famous movie “ocean’s 12′ spend time in this coffeeshop while filming in Amsterdam. It’s a coffeeshop both for first timers and long cannabis professionals, tourists and locals make it feel like everyone is welcome. What makes Dampkring Coffeeshop different is its spacious feel and gorgeous interior. Good drinks and good weed are served here at standard prices.
Previously known as “Whootsie Tootsie”, Amnesia is a small coffee shop with dark red interior, nice hanging red lights and mellow music that sets the mood. On a sunny day it’s a great spot to sit outside and watch the boats on the Herengracht. Interesting menu with some lesser known varieties (some of them 100% organic) and friendly staff who will take time to explain.
Halsema said the measure would take some months to become effective because there would need to be a period of consultation and transition for coffee shop owners, and the city wanted to introduce a hallmark scheme for approved vendors.
“Cannabis is a popular product that people enjoy worldwide,” he told the Dutch ANP news agency. “People want to smoke their joint. If that can’t happen in a coffee shop, then they will buy it on the street.”
But Joachim Helms of the coffee shop owners’ association BCD said the plans risked driving the soft drugs trade on to the street.
“Amsterdam is an international city and we wish to attract tourists – but for its richness, its beauty and its cultural institutions,” the mayor said, adding that the cannabis market was too big and had too many links to organised crime.
Cannabis is technically illegal in the Netherlands but possession of fewer than five grams (0.18 ounces) of the drug was decriminalised in 1976 under a “tolerance policy”. Production remains illegal but the coffee shops are allowed to sell it.