Home > News > Amsterdam hash cafes must choose: soft drugs or alcohol

Amsterdam hash cafes must choose: soft drugs or alcohol

As of Sunday, April 1, 2007 — and this is no April Fools joke — Amsterdam’s hash cafes must make a difficult choice: either sell alcohol or soft drugs, but not both.

In the Netherlands, so-called coffeeshops (or coffee shops) 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. Throughout Holland, hash cafes ceased to exist 11 years ago.

However, in Amsterdam, 44 hash-cafes — which sold both soft drugs and alcohol — had been allowed to continue under that typically Dutch approach known as “gedogen.”

Gedogen is a Dutch verb that cannot be properly translated. It roughly means ‘tolerated,’ but in a wider and different sense of the word. It is used of a situation or activity that technically is illegal, but which is actively tolerated as a matter of government policy — since everyone knows the issue (say, prostitution or the use of soft drugs, can not be legislated away). In short, gedogen is something that is illegal, but not illegal. Welcome to Holland…

Many of Amsterdam’s rulers, headed by popular mayor Job Cohen, actually asked the central government to continue granting Amsterdam the exception to keep tolerating the hash cafes. The central government turned down the request.

Of the 44 hash cafes in Amsterdam, 37 have decided to continue as coffeeshops, while 7 will convert to pubs.

Category: News |

Last updated CET (Central European Time)

Hello! Our original content is of course protected by © Copyright DutchAmsterdam .nl
Do not republish or repost. Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape    

Why stand in line during your Amsterdam vacation?

Beat the crowds by booking Amsterdam Tours, Skip the Line Tickets, Museums, Excursions and Activities online. GetYourGuide is our trusted ticket partner.

Leave a Reply

The DutchAmsterdam website includes affiliate links. That means we get a small commission — at no additional cost to you — for each purchase you make. Your support helps us provide this site free of charge. Naturally, as our Editorial Policy states, our content is never influenced by our advertisers or affiliates.