Coffeeshops are establishments where you can legally buy and use soft drugs, along with coffee, (and often) fruit juices and health food.
Nationwide these coffeeshops are not allowed to serve alcohol.
Yet in Amsterdam there are 44 hash cafes – pubs that sell both soft drugs and alcohol.
Until now they have been tolerated, but that exemption expires on April 1, 2007.
Amsterdam’s rulers would rather keep tolerating the hash cafes, and will ask the government for permission to legalize them.
If the central government does not agree, the cafes will have to decide whether to continue selling alcohol, and no drugs, or to become coffeeshops.
March 30, 2007 UPDATE: The central government has decided — against the wishes of Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen — that, as of April 1, 2007 (no joke), all current hash cafes must decide to either sell alcohol or soft drugs.