What Can You Buy (Almost Legally) in Amsterdam?

By 01.17.12

Weed
Though tolerated, marijuana is actually officially illegal in Amsterdam, essentially so that the Man can bring the hammer down if he feels like it. The High Times Cannabis Cup was even raided this past year. That said, for the most part, as long as you don’t f*ck around you can buy up to five grams at a time and coffee shops don’t really take much flak from the police. Since growing weed is expressly prohibited in The Netherlands, this “look the other way” policy also applies to the coffee shops themselves when it comes to obtaining their merchandise.

Other Fun Stuff
Just like in America and everywhere else, the Dutch let good, old-fashioned bureaucracy get involved in everything. So these other tolerated drugs aren’t sold alongside weed like beer and cigarettes, they are sold at different establishments called “smart shops,” which hold different licenses.

Smart shops specialize in legal psychoactive substances and other legal highs. Unfortunately for shroomers, those wonderful psilocybin mushrooms you love were made illegal in 2008. But not to worry: smart shops have waved the Dutch magic wand that makes loopholes appear out of thin air. The answer to the new shroom policy: truffles


Magic truffles have replaced the magic mushroom and are sold as openly as marijuana. These aren’t the expensive mushrooms people track down with pigs; “truffles” is just a nickname. Also known as philosopher’s stones, truffles come from the mycelium, the part of the fungus that acts similar to a root system of a plant. The mycelium is the underground part of the mushroom that collects nutrients so it’s technically not an illegal mushroom. In order to store nutrients during environmental shortages, mycelium basically hardens into a mass to reserve fungus food known as sclerotium. And the sclerotium is what has the psilocybin that makes you trip. The truffles are apparently quite similar to shrooms since they work the same way chemically.

Peyote cactus, which makes you trip really, really hard and for a really, really long time is also available for purchase. Don’t get too excited, though: you need to grow them for a few years before you can have enough for even one trip.

Other legal highs available in the smart shops are salvia, which was openly available in the U.S. only a few years ago and got Miley Cyrus in trouble made a guy I knew piss himself and say “I feel like the metal man” (he meant “Tin Man”); something called “legal XTC” which seems to just be ephedra mixed with other herbs; and other sketchy-looking seeds and herb blends that are supposed to make you trip, become h*rny, or some combination of both.

It seems that, when in Amsterdam, weed and truffles are the way to go. For those that have been, Sound Off in the comments with your own experiences in Amsterdam.


TAGSAmsterdamDrugsMarijuanasalviaShroomsstudying abroadTravel

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