Hi World: Amsterdam Edition

Sure, marijuana may be making waves here in the United States, but we aren’t the only ones hopping on the cannabis legalization train. In fact, we’re light years behind other countries around the globe. In our series, Hi World, we explore the places and spaces where tourists can travel to and experience a new strain, shop and way of life.

Hi World: Amsterdam edition.

Amsterdam’s marijuana history

Guess what everyone, marijuana technically isn’t legal in Amsterdam or the whole of the Netherlands either. However, thanks to the Dutch Opioid Act, “soft drugs” such as marijuana, have been decriminalized.

“In general, possession and trade in drugs is illegal, but penalties are more severe for hard drugs,” the Library of Congress explained. “…though the activity is technically illegal, the offender will not be prosecuted as long as certain conditions are met.”

Those conditions include only purchasing and consuming cannabis in licensed coffee shops only.

How you can purchase

According to the Library of Congress, guests and residents of the Netherlands cannot bring or take drugs to and from the territory of the Netherlands. The only exception is for pharmacists, doctors, dentists and veterinary surgeons within the normal practice of their professions. However, visitors and residents can purchase in designated coffee shops so long as those coffee shops don’t:

-Possess or sell hard drugs
-Cause a nuisance
-Allow minors to enter the premises or sell soft drugs to them
-Sell more than a limited amount of soft drugs per transaction and having more than 500 grams in stock
-Allow non-residents of the Netherlands to enter the premises and buy soft drugs

Did you catch that last one? If you’re not a resident of the Netherlands you’re technically not allowed to purchase drugs (that are technically illegal anyway). However, in 2012, the mayor of Amsterdam chose not to enforce the Dutch residency requirement in coffee shops due to how much cash they generate from tourists. So now, at these shops both residents and tourists can buy and possess up to five grams.

Best places to buy

If there’s one place you need to visit while traveling to Amsterdam it’s Barney’s Coffee Shop.
The shop, located in a 500-year-old storefront, is one of the most popular coffee shops on Haarlemmerstraat, which also happens to be one of the best shopping streets in the city.

Barney’s has won multiple “High Times Cup” awards, meaning you know it’s a tried and true favorite. Inside, the shop serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with a few infused favorites including cookies, cakes, and pastries that pair perfectly with a hot cappuccino.

One thing to do after you consume

There’s plenty to do and see throughout Amsterdam, but perhaps the best thing to experience after consuming a little marijuana is go to the Cow Museum. Yes, I said the cow museum.

Hidden inside a tiny storefront in Amsterdam is the nation’s largest – and perhaps only – dedicated cow museum.

Though the shop is extraordinarily tiny, it contains hundreds of cow statues, facts, figurines and more. After imbibing at Barney’s take a stole over to the museum, stare at the colorful cows for a while, then continue your journey through Amsterdam’s famous canals, buy some tulips, and enjoy the scenes. Next, sober up, rent a bike and see check out the rest of things this glorious city has to offer. You can thank us for your perfect day later.