Amsterdam: Counter Productive

In Amsterdam, smoking cannabis or hashish is permitted in the city’s coffeeshops. Visitors should keep in mind that other establishments generally do not allow the consumption of soft drugs on their premises.


Tolerated By The Authorities

Coffeeshops are permitted to sell a maximum of five grams to each patron and the possession of this, although technically against the law, is tolerated by the authorities. Coffeeshops are taxed and strictly regulated. You must be 18 years of age to enter a coffeeshop.


All hard drugs and the sale of soft drugs on the street are strictly illegal and therefore punishable by law. Please note that smoking regular tobacco in a coffeeshop is not allowed due to the smoking ban.


Amsterdam Is Concerned Pass Will Be Counter Productive

The national government would like to introduce a national membership card system for coffeeshops in the Netherlands, although a final decision isn’t in sight yet. The membership card system would effectively ban tourists from visiting coffeeshops and purchasing soft drugs. Under the new scheme, only Dutch residents of legal age would be eligible for a membership card.


The City of Amsterdam has concerns about these plans, and recently commissioned research into the potential impact of the card system. Read the press release regarding this research. The City has shared their findings with Security and Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten and entered into consultation with him. For now, critics, coffeeshop owners and coffeeshop tourists will be pleased to know that a final decision could still be several months away.