Ever thought of the first association that comes to your mind when you first hear the name of
Amsterdam? Right next to the gorgeous tulips, beautiful canals and bridges, magnificent
windmills, and easily recognizable architecture, your mind is probably talking you to the taboo subject of cannabis!
Yes, unfortunately, the use of cannabis is still considered to be questionable, even though science has already worked its way to deep information and proof of the amazing positive effects of medical cannabis! There are even public records online, available to anyone who wishes to learn more about cannabis.
And while the majority of the countries around the world are still having unsure opinions on this plant, cannabis marks a long history in the Netherlands, being a massive part of its culture at this point. Dutch law is the main reason Amsterdam is known as “The city of Freedom”, because, among many other things, it also gives a free choice to people who want to try and consume cannabis. This undoubtedly makes it one of the most popular destinations for tourists and even people who want to move to a better place.
If you are wondering how things came to be this way in the Netherlands, then you are in the right place!
Cannabis was decriminalized in Amsterdam back in the 1970s, and now, while not completely
legalized, it is being tolerated by the government. This has made a perfect climate for opening coffeeshops throughout the country, which are places where customers can buy and consume cannabis. These places still operate on the margins of the law, but today they are just so many it is practically a very common thing everyone knows about.
This has made the city of Amsterdam home of 200 certified coffeeshops.
The first coffeeshop to open in Amsterdam was “Mellow Yellow,” founded back in 1972 when
the Netherlands started to become more tolerant of cannabis. Things were not yet perfect and the act of selling cannabis was still considered to be illegal. This had made the owners of the coffeeshops highly creative with the ways they sold cannabis. They had to make the transactions in secret and completely hide the main income source for the business.
But nothing could stop the police from still raiding these places. They were never able to find
any substantial evidence of criminal activity, though, therefore they never had a reason to close them down.
A few years later, the Dutch government decriminalized cannabis under the new policy that was created to ease problems associated with narcotics, yet it didn’t mean it became completely legal.
Selling cannabis was still considered a criminal offense, but dealers could avoid prosecution so long as they followed certain regulations.
Today, locals and tourists can enjoy their favorite cannabis products in the designated smoking rooms in the coffeeshops and have a great time while knowing exactly what they are purchasing, having insight in the lab results of many products that are being sold in the coffeeshops. The coffeeshops usually employ qualified and well-informed staff that is always ready to help customers with anything that is cannabis-related. Coffeeshops don’t serve alcohol, but some have exceptionally rich food menus instead. All in all, coffeeshops in Amsterdam today are known for their relaxed atmosphere where people can enjoy a chill and safe kind of fun!