Marijuana policy in amsterdam
Matt and I jumped on an overnight bus to Amsterdam after Berlin. I didn't have many plans for Amsterdam on this trip. I wanted to see the coffeeshop culture in particular. The Red Light district was also on my list to see. Both are highly questionable topics anywhere else in the world.
Marijuana has been hot topic in the U.S.A for some time now. Most countries have strict laws against marijuana. It is common knowledge throughout the world that Amsterdam is the place to buy "soft drugs" as Holland refers to them. When you walk into a "coffeeshop," you are handed a menu with drugs of the day. There can also be a special menu, you just have to ask. The price of four pre-rolled marijuana joints cost the same as a pack of cigarettes. Edible marijuana treats and Psilocybin mushrooms or psychedelic mushrooms are also legal in Amsterdam. Police will not arrest anyone with paraphernalia on them.
So what kind of laws are these? Doesn't the Dutch government want to regulate the consumption of marijuana and magic mushrooms? Well, Amsterdam's drug laws evolved the same way as any other major city the last 100 years. But, the lax drug laws obviously didn't follow the same patterns as other countries.
The Dutch drug policy declares that every human being may decide what is best for its health. The Dutch consider this rule to work the best for tourism, overall health of its people and crime rates. Although other countries such as Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and some parts of the U.S. allow marijuana with controlled consumption, those countries do have problems with underground drug smuggling. Another idea which guides Dutch laws in their drug policy is the act of trying to hide the negative stereotypes of marijuana and magic mushrooms does not make them disappear. It actually makes them worse, because when concealed, they become far more difficult to influence and control.
The Dutch see the use of drugs as a health matter, similar to the use of tobacco and alcohol. They also point to the fact that prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. from 1919-1933 brought more negative effects such as more drug consumption, illegal moonshine sales that increased the death toll during that time and criminal activity as a whole.
I thought once I got to Amsterdam, the street would be filled with pot smoke while people were stumbling down the streets. That is not the case. The only reason coffeeshops exists is due to the overflow of tourists looking to smoke a joint. The negative stereotypes of Amsterdam's legal marijuana businesses don't exist inside the country. It's looked at just like alcohol and tobacco.
Red light district, amsterdam
The Red Light District consists of brothels to sex shops to museums, the Amsterdam Red Light District leaves nothing to the imagination. It is very likely that you will have heard about this neighbourhood and to be frank, everything you will have heard is probably true , but to really put rumours to rest, you have got to check it out for yourself. The Rossebuurt, as the locals know it, is unlike any other place. Guaranteed. Certainly, the Red Light District in Amsterdam that everyone knows about is the one where women, of all nationalities, parade their wares in red-fringed window parlours, many ready to offer more than a school boy peep-show in a private cabin. Another familiar image of the Amsterdam Red Light District is of packs of men, young and old , couples holding hands and pointing in shock of it all, giggling groups of women celebrating a hen night , and busloads of Japanese tourists toting cameras (except not in the direction of the female entertainers! Strictly banned!). This is proof en