DUTCH FUN FACT #5

THE DUTCH DRUG POLICY

Befor reading this article, it’s fun to start with this fragment of the movie Pulp Fiction :)

Jules: So, tell me again about the hash bars.
Vincent: Okay, what you wanna know?
Jules: Hash is legal there, right?
Vincent: Yeah, it's legal, but it ain't a hundred percent legal. I mean, you can't walk into a restaurant, roll a joint and start puffing away. You're only supposed to smoke in your home or certain designated places.
Jules: And those are hash bars?
Vincent: It breaks down like this: it's legal to buy it, it's legal to own it, and if you're the proprietor of a hash bar, it's legal to sell it. It's legal to carry it, but that doesn't really matter 'cause get a load of this, all right? If you get stopped by the cops in Amsterdam, it's illegal for them to search you. I mean, that's a right the cops in Amsterdam don't have.
Jules: [laughing] Oh, man! I'm going, that's all there is to it.
I'm fucking going. 

Holland is famous for its liberal drugs policy.

But a lot of people don’t realize that drugs are in fact not prohibited in the Netherlands. To take a closer look at our Dutch drug policy can spare you a lot of trouble.

All drugs are not allowed in Holland. It is illegal to produce, selling, importing, exporting and to possess drugs. However, the government invented a drug policy which tolerates smoking marijuana under strict rules and conditions.

Coffeeshops

Coffeeshops are located all over Holland but the highest concentration of shops is in Amsterdam. The shops are allowed to sell soft drugs…BUT…. not more than five grams of weed per person per day. Coffee shops are supervised by the police and they have strict laws about the amount of permitted soft drugs, and the conditions/circumstances in which it is sold and used. Coffeeshops are not allowed to make drug related adds in their windows or displays. Persons under the age of 18 are prohibited from buying drugs and access will be denied to coffee shops.

Drug Policy

The goal of the Dutch drug policy is: to minimalize the demand for drugs, the constant supply of drugs and the risks to drug users to their direct surroundings and society.

The Dutch admit that it is impossible to prevent people from using drugs altogether. Coffee shops are therefore allowed to sell small amounts of soft drugs. This approach means that the government can actually focus on the criminal syndicates who profit from drugs and who supply hard drugs.