Cafe Marly at the Louvre in Paris

Cafe Marly at the Louvre in Paris
Relax with a glass of wine at Cafe Marly overlooking the pyramid entrance to the Louvre.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Recreational Drugs and Tourism: Amsterdam's Coffeeshops

Recreational drugs are a big part of Amsterdam’s appeal to some tourists. Coffeeshops are not cafés. You drink coffee, smoke cigarettes and have a snack at a café. You buy and smoke marijuana at a coffeeshop. How can you tell the difference? Other than the telltale smell, most coffeeshops display a Rastafarian flag (red, yellow and green). Sanctioned shops display a sticker that says “Coffeeshop BCD.” Marijuana is sold openly in Amsterdam (although it and all hard drugs remain illegal). About 250 cafés are licensed to sell a maximum of 5 grams per adult. Coffeeshops feature lists of types of marijuana, hashish and stickie (a hashish joint rolled with tobacco) from which to choose. It’s taxed and regulated. Some shops even have delivery service! They sell cakes, muffins, brownies and chocolates made with hash or marijuana with names like “space cakes” or “space sweets.” Don’t smoke pot on the street as it’s considered rude. Never buy drugs from street dealers, and if you choose to partake in the drugs available at these shops, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. There are many locations of Bulldog, said to be the oldest coffeeshop in the city (


TravelingProfessor said...

I heard that you can smoke marijuana in a "coffeeshop" but not cigarettes. Is that true?

Also, other than the coffee shops I keep hearing that Amsterdam is a wonderful place to visit.

Andy said...

Yes. Local pot smokers, who usually cut joints with tobacco, must now smoke "pure." No tobacco in a coffeeshop!