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Things to know about Amsterdam’s Coffeeshops

Coffeeshops can sell soft drugs, but only in amounts of five grams or less; they can stock up to 500 grams (just over a pound) at a time for supply.

If individuals are found with up to 30 grams (one ounce) for their own personal use, then ‘it will still have no priority as far as investigation is concerned,’: basically, the police don’t mind.

The attitude of the locals is, as with most things, a mixture of apathy and amused tolerance: coffeeshops here – and there are over 300 of them in Amsterdam – are used by locals and tourists alike.
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What all coffeeshops have in common is the manner in which hashish and marijuana are sold (anything stronger is definitely frowned upon). Almost all coffeeshops have a menu card either on the bar or just behind it.
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Good coffeeshops have a bewildering array of comestibles. The hash side of things is fairly clear, as varieties are generally named after the country of origin. Weed is a bit more complicated. It divides roughly into two categories: bush weeds grown naturally, such as Thai; and Nederwiet or Skunk; an indigenous Duthc product grown under UV lights for maximum THC (the active ingredient).

As with Guinness in Ireland – well, kinda – the skunk here is worlds away from anything available elsewhere, and caution is advisable if you are at all interested in remembering anything.

The same should be exercised when it comes to most of the space cake on offer: return to Planet Earth can be a decidedly protracted affair.

Don’t mix alcohol and smoking if you’re not use to it; and if you do overdo it, eat or drink something sweet.

However the only don’t that really needs to be stressed is that you should never, ever buy anything from street dealers. Junkies proliferate in certain areas of town, and if a street deal is not a precursor to a mugging, then you can count yourself lucky.
– Source: Time Out Guide Amsterdam. Buy the latest editition: USA | UK

Recommended: Amsterdam Coffeeshop Directoryoffsite

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This post was last updated: May. 18, 2011