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RNW Soft drugs dossier. Photo: Paul Pacitti

Soft drugs in the Netherlands

The Netherlands' tolerant policy on the use of cannabis has worked well for decades, but is coming under strain due to the free flow of people within the European Union.


Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Article: Young pot smokers risk permanent damage

Teenagers who regularly smoke cannabis run the risk of causing lasting damage to their intelligence, memory and attention span. The more people smoke the greater the decline according to a new long-term study of around 1,000 subjects.

Protests against the weed pass
Netherlands Netherlands Article: New cannabis rules not working

Article: New cannabis rules not working

The new rules affecting the sale of cannabis in coffeeshops in three southern Dutch provinces are having an adverse effect according to a new study. The "weed pass" was introduced in the regions on May 1 this year.  ...

Article: Dutch Press Review Wednesday 2 May 2012

Human rights in Ukraine comes under the spotlight, courtesy of Euro 2012. Dutch youth is all the happier for toeing the parental line, there’s an internet manhunt and cannabis ‘weed pass’ emotions run high.

Article: Court rejects cannabis policy challenge

On Friday, a court in The Hague ruled against 19 coffeeshop owners and other interested parties who are against the introduction of the compulsory ‘weed pass’. The pass will mean that ‘coffeeshops’...

Coffeeshop licence
Netherlands Netherlands Article: Weed pass clash on the cards

Article: Weed pass clash on the cards

Come the first of May, southern towns in the Netherlands are going to defy the national government in The Hague. Local councils in Limburg, North Brabant and Zeeland have said they will ignore a law which will take effect on that date...

Article: One hundred years of the war on drugs

One hundred years ago today, the war on drugs started in The Hague. On 23 January 1912, twelve countries met to sign the first international agreement regulating the drug trade, the International Opium Convention. Little has changed in...

Article: Netherlands to end sale of soft drugs to tourists

Dutch drugs policy is changing. The image of this country as a paradise for those wanting to enjoy soft drugs without looking over their shoulders is slowly but surely going up in smoke. The most far-reaching change is a new policy making...

Article: Maastricht coffeeshops turn away tourists

French tourists left the coffeeshops of Maastricht disappointed this weekend. Since Saturday the soft drug cafés have been refusing to sell cannabis to foreign tourists – except for Germans and Belgians. Visitors from...

Article: Amsterdam tourists mad about truffle trips

The ‘trip truffle’ has replaced banned magic mushrooms in Amsterdam’s smart shops - outlets which sell legal ‘drugs’. Trip truffles aren’t against the law, but neither are they entirely without risk -...

Article: “Psst, wanna buy a weed pass…?”

The introduction of weed passes to buy marijuana from coffeeshops in the Netherlands can go ahead. That is the conclusion of the Ministry of Security and Justice following the latest ruling by the country’s highest...