When in Rome…..
Actually if you want to enjoy the Dutch relaxed attitudes to drugs you should probably book a trip here soon, as there are serious talks about making the Coffee shops illegal to tourists.
I have no idea how they will implement this law; but word is it's going to happen in the next few years
So with this in mind, I thought it would be a shame not to sample some of the wares whilst here.
Finding a coffee shop is easy; they are all over the place. The ones around the red-light district I found to be seedy and dirty but those down the random side streets had a great laid back atmosphere to them, with plush velvets and cushions to aid relaxation.
Despite it being talked up before going, we really spent very little time in them. A quick joint at the start of the night was enough to satisfy our curiosity of these shops. In reality they are really too smoky (duh??!!) for a non smoker to enjoy for long
Heres a few tips for coffeeshop enjoyment
• In theory, the advertising of the drugs is not allowed, and on entering, you have to ask for a menu. However, in reality, we found that the coffee shops all had menus either on the table or the staff arrived quickly with one.
• Whilst its legal to smoke the drugs its illegal to grow them and so many of the varieties of pot are not local…but that’s also possible to find if you ask.
• Joints are meant to be smoked in the coffee shops but everyone smokes them in the streets, some restaurants, clubs etc, If in doubt at a club or bar just ask.
• although Marijuana is legal in Amsterdam; Coke, E's, heroin, etc., is NOT (despite how much you see around). Mushrooms are legal (but only the fresh variety) as is Hash cakes/Space cakes.
The coffee shops provide many different kinds and strengths of all their products so never be afraid to ask questions. A good coffeeshop is used to tourists and will help you out with any questions..
Many of the coffee shops also sell the infamous Space cakes
Before going I had read that the Space cakes, though legal, were so strong that many of the legitimate coffee shops refuse to sell them because of the strong effect and the ”number of tourists who end up in the canals after getting messed up on them”
Well it turns out that most coffee shops do actually sell them but the strengths vary greatly. One night some in the group did one from the Bulldog café with no real high. Another night one purchased from Goa coffee shop had VERY strong results! Believe me!
One final thing to remember: it is so normal to smoke there and to walk around with half-smoked joints in your pockets. You don’t even think twice about it after a few days. But PLEASE remind yourselves to empty such pockets before flying back to the States!