Amsterdam, Netherlands

Smoking tolerance level [1= very illegal 5=virtually legal]: 5

Legislation: For anyone over the age of 18, hashish and marijuana are free, legl and available. You can buy a daily maximum of 5 gram hash or weed in municipality-controlled ´Coffeeshops´.

Law Enforcement: The police don’t arrest any kind of soft drug users, although you may find it unpleasant to smoke in the quiet neighborhoods’ streets.

Where to Buy marijuana in Amsterdam: You will find many brands of marijuana for purchase on the counter, at any coffee-shop. Either by the gram, or a fixed joint.

another reporter added: “best places to buy marijuana are the coffee shops, its not wise to buy off the street because you never know if its laced. I stayed there for 5 days and found the best weed of my life, very easy to find. If you are looking for blow just walk down the red light district and you will see a bunch of black guys standing around. THEY ALL HAVE IT. ”

Amsterdam Hashish Prices:
average price per gram, broadcasted by National Dutch VARA Radio by Koos Zwart updated 22/06/06

Royal (Morocco 0-0+) 10$(8 euro)
Temple Balls (Nepal) 10$ (8 euro)
Ketama (Morocco 0-0) 9$ (7 euro)
Kashmir (India) 9$ (7 euro)
Super Polm (Morocco) 9$ (7 euro)
Manali (India) 8$ (6.5 euro)
Polm (Morocco) 8$ (6.5 euro)
Yellow (Lebanon) 7.5$ (6 euro)
Red (Lebanon) 7.5$ (6 euro)
Afghani 6$ (5 euro)
Amsterdam Marijuana Prices:
average price per gram, broadcasted by National Dutch VARA Radio by Koos Zwart

Edelweiss (Dutch) 10$ (8 euro)
Punto Rojo (USA) 9.5$ (7.5 euro)
Golden Acapulco 9.5$ (7.5 euro)
Skunk (Dutch) 9$ (7 euro)
Purple Haze (Dutch) 8$ (6 euro)
Van Vollenhoven (Dutch) 4$ (3 euro)
Schelto Skunk (Dutch) 2.5$ (2 euro)
Beatrix Bleu (Dutch) 1.25$ (1 euro)
Area: 428 sq km

Population: 3.7 million

Country: Holland

Time Zone: GMT/UTC +2

Telephone Area Code: 21

webehigh city’s tale:
Amsterdam, is a smoker’s dream: an amusement park of “coffee houses” that serve high-grade hash and pot under the tolerant watch of the government and legal authorities.

Soft drug enthusiasts from around the world have made the pilgrimage to this Marijuana Mecca, from which they return with testimonials about some of the most potent weed they have ever encountered.

“The best high I ever had was the last night I was in Amsterdam last year, when I smoked a bag of Northern Lights and some other stuff I don’t even remember buying, and finished it all off with a slice of space cake,” said a smoker calling himself Lawnmower. “And then I floated away to a land of many colors.”

Carl Lavin, an American who spent his winter holiday in Amsterdam, claimed that “the average bag of weed was as good or better than anything I have ever gotten here [in the U.S.]” “The first bag was purchased at a reggae-themed coffee shop,” he said. “It was 9.07 EUR for a bag that lasted longer than our trip. It was called K2, and is simply the best weed I ever had.” He said he fired up just before eating Christmas dinner, expecting a major case of the munchies. “I never got hungry with this stuff,” Lavin said. “I didn’t even finish my first plate. This stuff was that good. It didn’t make me hungry or sleepy. Just high. Damn high. Rocky Mountain high!”

Drug laws in the Netherlands are based on a system of “gedogen” – tolerance. Pro-marijuana organization NORML explains, “drug use is not a criminal offence. Acquisition of drugs, for personal use, is not a criminal offence. The law does specify possession as an offence, but the law is not enforced, and criminal action is never pursued.”

Five grams is the cut-off line for acceptable possession, although anything under 30 grams will reportedly be treated with leniency. “We see no harm in possessing or using soft drugs,” said Jannie Pols of the Dutch Ministry of Justice. The policy, instituted in 1976, is intended to keep casual users out of jail and to allow soft drugs as an alternative to more damaging narcotics such as cocaine and heroin.

The government says it wants to “protect the health of individual users” and society as a whole. “We want to separate the market,” Pols said. “That’s why the coffee shops are tolerated. We hope people who want to try soft drugs don’t go to people selling hard drugs.”

This city of canals and parks with 725,000 bike-riding residents has approximately 300 licensed outlets offering marijuana and hash. Costs vary depending on the strain of weed and coffee shops offer menus displaying their prices.

The shops, mostly located in the city’s historic center and its Red Light District, are closely regulated and must adhere to strict rules. “Trading in hard drugs is banned, and it is prohibited to sell to persons under 18 years of age, no advertising is permitted, and the maximum amount per transaction per client is 5 grams,” explained a statement on the city government’s official Web site. “Where more than 500 grams of soft drugs are found on the premises, or where hard drugs are being sold, or where the premises is the center of a public nuisance, the police have powers to close the premises – on the authority of the mayor and aldermen.”

With so many coffee shops to choose from, obviously some rise above the rest. The Smoking Team, an anonymous group that posts Internet reviews of its favorite shops, recommended Blue Bird, Homegrown Fantasy, Dutch Flowers and Frontpage. Other shops mentioned were The Grasshopper, The Bulldog, Energy Coffee Shop and Barakka.

The Smoking Team advised that visitors watch out for shoddy product. “Lots of coffee shops located in the Red Light District sell the same grass regardless of type you order – you pay the price of white widow but in most of these shitty coffee shops you will get a bag of an ordinary skunk,” the Web site said.

A traveler named Kara warned that there are plenty of “tourist traps” among the coffee shops. “You did not travel to Amsterdam to meet other Americans and smoke bad, overpriced weed,” she said. “If you are at a loss of where to go, try one of the Greenhouse shops, which are known for killer bud.”

A smoker named Sativa agreed. “Amsterdam has many great coffee shops but also really bad ones as well,” she said, recommending Greenhouse, Yazooh and Blue Velvet as spots with good buys. “A good way to get discounts is to let the staff know that you’re not just some tourist and that you plan to be a repeat customer. If you go back and manage to bring more customers with you then you’ll notice they will take to you like a stoner to weed.”

Visitors should be aware that even this toker-friendly town has some rules they must obey. Smoking is only allowed in the coffee shops or designated areas and the locals frown upon tourists lighting up in other public places such as restaurants. “The thing I noticed about Amsterdam, more than just the drug scene, is that everything seems to rely on personal responsibility,” American tourist Lavin said, adding that the city’s residents will tolerate a lot, “so long as you don’t bother anybody.” And while drugs are permitted inside the country, exporting some of your favourite bud is highly illegal. Police and customs officers patrol the borders and trains searching for even small-time smugglers. If you’re looking for entertainment after stumbling out of the coffee shops, try the Hash and Marijuana Museum at Oudezijds Achterburgwal 148. Amsterdam also boasts the world’s largest flower garden, Keukenhof Gardens. With over 6 million flowers, it is a sight for reddened eyes.