Amsterdam’s Coffee Shops, by Oriane

Amsterdam Coffee Shop
Amsterdam Coffee Shop

We arrived in Amsterdam 24 hours ago, and we already smell Cannabis in the air. We walked by a green and yellow sign that indicates a coffeeshop, as well as shops that are similar to grocery stores but are more colorful: headshops …

As a reminder, the local laws authorize adult consumption of non-chemical so-called soft drugs (cannabis and hallucinogenic or magic mushrooms) inside but not outside of coffee shops, and the sales are limited to 5g per person.

The possession of these substances outside of coffee shops and head shops is prohibited, but a quantity of under 5g is tolerated even if it is theoretically punishable with a fine.

Cannabis Seed
Cannabis Seed

However, tobacco is banned in public places like it is in France, including in coffee shops if it is consumed without adding cannabis!

In short, it is something worth trying since it is part of Amsterdam’s culture and attractions!
So, here we go… We randomly chose the Smokey Coffee Shop at Rembrandtplein Square …

When you enter, you’ll notice a strong acidic smell, but to my astonishment, not much smoke. The clientele is rather young, young men and women, couples and small groups… All languages can be heard here: French, Italian, English …

Choose cannabis Amsterdam
Choose cannabis Amsterdam

Angel buys a ready-made joint in a cone-shaped tube for 5 euros.

The name “White widow with herbs” seems to indicate that it won’t be too strong … The “waiter” confirms as much.
As for me, I just order a fruit juice cocktail (strawberry, mango, pear) for 4 euros … But … I can’t let Angel smoke the whole joint alone … Plus, I’m curious … What would you have done if you were in my shoes? So, I had one drag, then two….? OK. Then three, then four … Then … I lost count!

We ended up sharing it between the two of us. And neither he nor I felt any different! We were a little disappointed, but we were also relieved!

As for headshops, we walked by many near the central station. There are also some in the red light district and in places I didn’t expect to see them, like the flower market … Strategic tourist-trap locations? We accepted the challenge, and headed in!

Head Shop
Magasin borderline d’Amsterdam
Head shop mushroom Amsterdam
Head shop mushroom Amsterdam

Here, too, there is a strong acidic smell, even if people don’t seem to consume the drugs on the spot.

A little tour of the shop: herbs, plant seeds and hallucinogenic mushrooms for cultivation, pieces of resin, small vials with content unfamiliar to me, tablets named after their effects, products made with cannabis (chocolate, lollipops, ice cream, cookies), paraphernalia like the cannabis inhaler, decorative objects, boxes and themed clothing, piercing jewelry…

Amsterdam cannabis Adidas
Amsterdam cannabis Adidas
Amsterdam smoking tobacco not allowed
Amsterdam smoking tobacco not allowed

Among the items, I notice beautiful, different colored glass elephants… This confirms that this shop is also for tourists, who, like us, are on a vision quest for pink elephants, but don’t want to risk consuming these products, which are as dangerous in Amsterdam as they are elsewhere …

It seems that even a “special” brownie, despite its harmless appearance, can have very significant effects … (much more so than a simple joint).
A salesman is there to provide more details about the effects of this or that product. He’s an adviser, kind of like a “special” pharmacist…

I am both amused and saddened by the idea that these so-called “recreational” products can also become the source of an addiction that can completely ruin lives…
This whole drug exhibition is part of the folklore … Go check it out when you visit Amsterdam … But honestly, don’t go there just for that!

There are better things to do in this beautiful city … Not to mention, the narco-tourism sucks a little bit for the locals who are torn between their characteristic tolerance and the annoyance produced by the nocturnal nuisances of those who let loose a little too much.

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