Marijuana in Europe : 2007
Ethnocentric Americans believe that because something is illegal in the US, it's wrong everywhere. However, many Europeans believe that marijuana is a recreational drug to be enjoyed by adults — much like alcohol. Those interested in "going local" with respect to marijuana during their European travels have few ways to compare notes. Let this be a forum for discussion. Was it safe to smoke? Did you feel comfortable? Did it add to your travel experience? Any pitfalls to avoid?
Editor's note: This board is monitored closely for inappropriate postings. If you would like to post a message, please read the topic introduction and our Spraypainters' Guidelines carefully. Solicitations to buy or sell marijuana, and postings concerning trafficking marijuana across borders, will be deleted. This board is for tips only.
Hash it out
In 1972 at the age of 17 I backpacked to europe alone. I was cautioned never to take drugs and to watch out for undercover narcs, especially around Dam Square in Amsterdam. I feared using any dope while abroad as a result of these warnings. One night my buddy who I was visiting in Holland asked me if I smoke. I said yeah, but less than half a pack a day. He asked if I could smoke "this" and unwrapped a piece of hashish the size of an Oreo cookie. I said yes but not while overseas. I declined his offer to smoke dope. I am glad I did declince beacuase that night, which I want to remember so clearly now 35 years later, I went to a concert. A new band was playing over at the Concertgebouw. A group called Wings. If you don't know who wings was, looker up. Glad I stayed sober that night as history was made in the rock world and I was there to see it and remember it in crystal clear deatail today.
Chicago, USA Fri 11/16/2007
Marijuana in Europe
Exactly! Now you cannot have a beer in a coffeeshop. I think that ended about a year ago. I always looked forward to ending a day in Amsterdam at De Kuil (also known as Cafe 420) with a nice spliff and a cool glass of Amstel while listening to Frank Zappa, or the Band, or what-have-you. Now they have taken away the beer. It seems the city fathers have lost their way and should return to the days of allowing two intoxicants in coffeeshops!
Cleveland, Ohio USA Sun 11/11/2007
I travel frequently in Europe, always stopping in Amsterdam. Honestly most of the borders in western Europe, at least the ones crossed by train, are relatively loose in terms of drug detection. On the other hand, sometimes they take things very seriously. It is impossible to predict.
The point is, why take the chance of ruining a lovely trip by taking cannabis across a border? You can easily spend a week or more exploring the Netherlands. Been to Maastricht? One of the most beautiful cities in the world. Try the northern part of the country. Enjoy. But play smart and travel smart.
Cleveland, Ohio USA Wed 11/07/2007
florence, italy marijuana
a recent trip to italy with a small amount of grass in the form of a roach, half smoked wrapped in tissue in my pocket to be used for sleep when i arrived. nevertheless, the dogs were alerted and i was whisked to a side room and bags were searched. when the vile grass was discovered i was given a written warning and nothing else. just the fright and humiliation. i was told that if it was discovered in my bags in contrast to it being found on my body, the charge would be "serious". the following day, the italian parliament passed a law allowing the possession of small amounts without penalty. i talked to the american embassy and was informed that the warning was routine. it was put into a file without followup. the laws are really senseless as marijuana is less harmful than hard liquor and cigarettes.however, for the traveler, what is, is.
los angeles, ca USA Sun 11/04/2007
Rick on NORML Board..
I wasn't aware Rick was on the Board of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) until I picked up my morning paper..He will be a speaker at its 2007 Conference in Los Angeles.. Here's a link to that event: http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=7250
Here's Rick's bio provided on Board members w/ his point of view on this subject: http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=5530
Atta boy Rick...
P.S.: hopefully this isn't an 'inappropriate postings' as mentioned in this forums 'editor's note'...
Eureka, CA USA Fri 10/12/2007
I haven't even been to Europe yet. But as I said previously I have read the whole archives here.
From what I gather, it definitely is not a good idea to try what you are wondering about. It is illegal, as you might imagine, to carry across the border. And from what you can read in recent messsages, you can see that it is an enforced law.
The main theme in the archives concerning this very topic, has been have a great time wherever you may be in Europe, but don't try to carry anything across borders. It's just not worth it, from all that I've read.
seattle, united states Tue 10/02/2007
I have 2 contradicting statements that I've heard. First: That Marijuana is overlooked in Europe. Second: That if you are crossing borders of European countries that you should not have even a little on you. I am an American that is traveling to Europe for 10 days our itenerary includes 5 different countries and I was just curious if the bourders are secure with dogs and stuff like the US border is. We would never have more than an amount for "personal use" on us at any time. I appreciate your help!!!
USA Sun 09/30/2007
I'm a mid 40s deadhead/jazzguy type, and found some wonderful smoke in Amsterdam. I was also traveling with a child and non-smoking wife, so there wasn't a lot of time for coffeeshop hanging out or exploration. We stayed outside the center, but I actually felt less comfortable lighting up discretely in Vondel Park than I do in Golden Gate Park in SF, partly because at home my pipe looks like a cigarette, and I just had a cheap basic bowl purchased in A'dam for the trip. Never considered lighting up in a crowded area, and smelled way more tobacco than weed at the Paridiso.
First stop was Greenhouse on Haarlemmer Straat. There seemed to be construction, and I don't think this is the Greenhouse referred to in a earlier post. Got amnesia haze, a good sativa. I later went to a neighborhood joint on the north side of Overtoom near the park, and can't remember the name of it or the excellent indica for 8 euros a gram. I'd ducked in out of the rain; bad action on pinball. At Dampkring I got a sorta dry sativa called kalimist that was OK. Also got a space cake that was pleasant. Grey Area was closing at 8 on a Friday, but got some Morning Glory indica at Amnesia.
Except as noted, it was all 10 euros a gram. I usually asked what was fresh and good that day; the only exception being Dampkring, and got bud that was a bit dry there. Was shown a wide variety at Amnesia. Nothing was lame, nor was it too much for an experienced smoker. My young inexperienced niece said space cake was too much for her comfort, though.
I've never had hash that I'd prefer to a good bud, but this changed on July 12 at Dampkring about 7PM local time when I tried Dutch Water Works Hash!!!!! It's 40 euros a gram, but, wow, 3-4 small hits gives the effect of a good joint.
I was always the oldest person there, and the music tended towards extasy rave-type techno-pop that is not my first choice. The exceptions were reggae at the Overtoom shop, and R&B at Dampkring in the morning. Never found a place where I'd want to spend much time, but that may have been different with other companions and more time.
San Fracisco, CA USA Mon 09/10/2007
These are helpful for trip planning. Coffeeshop guide: http://www.geocities.com/Augusta/5173/enter.html Coffeeshop Directory: http://www.coffeeshop.freeuk.com/ACDfrmGu.html
The latter has a good map and detailed descriptions.
A good book is "Get Lost. The cool guide to Amsterdam".
San Fracisco, ca USA Mon 09/10/2007
RE: Internet Coffeeshops??
Also in Haarlem is the Coffeeshop High Times at Lange Veerstraat 47. They have two internet stations that are free to customers.
North Little Rock, AR USA Sat 09/08/2007
Yes, there are several in Amsterdam Check this http://www.coffeeshop.freeuk.com/ACDfrmAZ.html Searched "internet". 24 hits. At least two off Leidseplein. Around Dam Square there are several. Around 10 cents a minute.Some are free, some first 15 min with purchase. But most don't. Recommend Pink Floyd on Haarlemerstraat, serve breakfast too. If you go to Haarlem, which I recommend, Willie Wortal's has them.
USA Fri 09/07/2007
I look forward to travelling to Europe, and definitely to the Netherlands. I've read the whole archives here, and I can't find anyone who asked if there is an internet "coffeeshop." I love to play online games like chess on my computer while I smoke, but would need a place where I could hang out for as long as I want using a computer (I don't mind at all purchasing multiple coffee/tea/other drinks - not to mention smoke - while staying, to make the coffeeshop owners happy).
I would think such a wonderful place as I describe would be very common in such a high-tech place like the Netherlands, which of course also has this wonderful leniency with herb, but I haven't found any word of it here in this forum.
Do such places exist??
I am also wondering if I should definitely bring my own laptop for wi-fi "coffeeshops" (if any), or would someone know of great "coffeeshops" that have internet computers already available. And if that's a yes on the latter, how expensive is the internet rate/hour? (I'm not use to using internet cafes, so I'm not familiar with rates.)
Thanks a lot in advance, if someone is in the know regarding my questions!
seattle, wa USA Tue 09/04/2007
I am an American expatriate who has resided in Amsterdam for several years. Public smoking of marijuana is discouraged by most Dutch nationals. Despite that is still very common to walk down the street and see (or smell, usually) people in their late teens and early twenties smoking a joint. It is unlikely you will encounter anything other than dirty looks for smoking in public while here in the city, although it is best to duck away from the crowds and sit by a canal or park when doing it. The rules concerning smoking indoors are currently changing, and this affects marijuana smoking in bars as well. Although there were many bars and nightclubs happy to allow their patrons to light up, this won't be the case for much longer. The three coffeeshops with the highest, most consistent quality are the Grey Area, the Greenhouse, and Barney's. Other coffeeshops with high quality and nice atmosphere are Homegrown Fantasy, La Tertullia, and Amnesia. The vast majority of other coffeeshops are quite a step down in quality from there, although most tourists aren't bothered by the difference. If you are a connoisseur looking for the best Amsterdam has to offer it is best to stick to these shops. Right now marijuana goes from between five euros a gram for quantity, lower quality weed to thirteen euros a gram for the best specialty stuff. Hash is anywhere between four or five euros a gram for cheap Afghani black to forty-five euros a gram for super-concentrated water hash. In general it's more enjoyable to buy a little of the good stuff than a lot of the crap, but that's my opinion. Many people feel otherwise. I wouldn't recommend taking your leftovers across borders. The border with Belgium is excepted however, as it is an open border and the Belgians tolerate people taking a small amount from Holland. Drug-sniffing dogs are occasionally used on trains and planes coming in from Amsterdam in many other European countries.
Amsterdam, NL Thu 06/28/2007
How much does it cost ? That depends on an infinite number of factors. What strength you want, the amount and, to a certain extent your own gullibility. If you are purchasing in a Dutch coffeeshop then there will be a menu indicating strength and outlining weight and price, but the same stuff can often be bought for less depending on which Dutch city or town you are in. On the other hand if you are doing a street deal in south London you will pay whatever the dealer thinks you are good for and there is no guarantee that you won't buy a bag of utter rubbish ( c'mon we've all done it ). Sadly most street dealers are not regulated by the better business bureau :) It's not regulated by any trade descriptions act or any quality control legislation and there is no standard pricing policy.
Nottingham, UK Mon 06/18/2007
Re: Where to go
The Netherlands and Spain are both great places to go, and they both have lax attitudes when it comes to marijuana. Though most people rush to The Netherlands' capital, Amsterdam, I suggest that you check out some of the smaller, lesser known cities throughout Holland such as Nijmegen, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Den Haag (The Hague). You will certainly find smoke shops in all the cities listed, and you'll be getting a more authentic, dutch experience.
San Sebastian, GUIP ES Tue 06/12/2007
Where to go
Hey to everyone. I am planning to go on a trip with my brother and my friend to Europe. We really haven't decided where we want to go, but we heard Amsterdam is a great experience, along with Spain. We want to speak to somebody who has been to Europe, and has traveled around and seen the great spots. We'd like to find a great place just to relax and take a break from our regular lives and light up in private, and revive moments of our past.
Thanks in advance,
A Seperate Peace, TX USA Wed 06/06/2007
Suprise weed in Europe
I am in Rothenburg, Germany tonight. As my family and I were traveling here from Salzberg, we changed trains in Steinach. As I got off, the train I saw 2 boys (early 20) lighting up. I could smell it right away as a occasional conisouir. There were a few people around but no one seemed to notice. I guess it is overlooked here. Boy I can't wait to be on my own as I stay in Europe longer and travel to Amsterdam.
Schipole Airport - go into airport and before security go out side on veranda. I smoked my last two there last summer before I left. A few workmen looked my way but no one seemed to care. I am not sure about doing it inside though. However, I did eat my last bon bon inside baggage claim in Houston before I came to dogs and customs/security. I keep it with my other Belgian chocolates.
Only smoke where allowed/tolerated so it doesn't mess it up for us ocassional travelers.
I wish it was Amsterdam, TX USA Fri 06/01/2007
It's been done before and it will be done again but the airport authorities don't like it and may ask you to put it out. On the other hand most people finish their last spliff on the concourse just outside Schipol, it's traditional. Also here is no objection to you eating your last 'bon-bons' and 'space cake' when you are airside.
Nottingham, UK Mon 05/28/2007
Hey SRJ ,
sniifer dawgs dont check to see if your wearing nice clothes or not
its your risk, but rememeber that a US citizen getting busted iN europe will not be treated the same as a EU citizen getting busted.....Dont underestimate the anti american sentiment in some quarters
You are an adult.You make your own decisions, but you will have a lifetime of hassle everytime you board a plane in the US if you do get busted in Europe - and they will inform the US embassy in most cases
USA, USA USA Fri 05/18/2007
MJ is easy to find in almost any city in Europe. Ask a cool bartender in any bar. Don't carry across borders. 99% of the time you will get through without any problem whatsoever. The problem starts( really big problem )if you get caught. And if you can't find any, try whisky !
ny, ny USA Wed 05/16/2007
great time in amsterdam
My wife and I just returned from a two week trip to England and the Netherlands. We spent five nights in Amsterdam, using the city as a base for several day trips. Found the coffee shops to be great! After first going to the grasshopper (the first one we saw after leaving the train station), we soon found some really nice small, local shops between our hotel and the jordaan.(Home grown fantasy on Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal comes to mind) We also found a nice shop in Alksmeer, a town we really liked after accidently "discovering" it when we got on the wrong train one day! Everyone has such a laid back attitude towards marijuana, maybe one day we can adopt the same attitude here in the states! Beats the heck out of building more prisons.
Alhambra, Ca USA Sat 05/12/2007
In response to nicole....I know it seems so tempting but youll never make it..besides the dogs and scanners which are nearly impossible to beat there is the security interview where they ask the same question 8 different ways to see if you answer it the same every time and if you answer wrong or something just doesnt feel right to them they will ask you to join them in another room to get a little more in- depth. I must confess to bringing some home the first time I went..and i got lucky..but never again after reading about the penalties. just enjoy it there, it will make you appreciate the great city of Amsterdam even more
Boston, MA USA Tue 04/03/2007
Indulging without offending
I would be curious to see some comments on general smoking etiquette in the Netherlands. For instance, it's illegal in California, but I wouldn't worry about DISCREETLY indulging in a park, most rock concerts or even a smoking area at Disneyland. I understand that walking down a street in Amsterdam toking on a fat one is out of line, but wonder of other places outside of coffeeshops and what would be proper.
San Francisco, CA USA Mon 03/26/2007
i think you folks are overly nervous. i have traveled with weed from the netherlands, through germany, france, switzerland, czech republic, slovakia, hungary, austria and italy. no problem ever encountered. not even a scary moment across borders. i think us weed smokers may be a bit paranoid. be cool, take a small amount, and have fun, hell you are on vacation. it has worked for me for over ten years throughout europe. take care.
naches, wa USA Sun 03/25/2007
I have never been a big consumer of marijuna in general, however I did partake while I was in Amsterdame a few years ago, and I have to say it was a great experience. The stuff was totally pure and the "high" was way better than anything I have experenced with MJ here in the US. We had a great night sitting in the middle of the Red Light District, at a coffee shop watching the hookers and smoking. Afterall...when in Rome!
CA USA Mon 03/05/2007
Don't Introduce KGB to the KGB
I am GenY/Old School. Have extensively traveled Europe over 30 years & 30 plus+ journeys. In the 80's and 90's you could carry over borders/CAREFULLY through most of Europe without any major concern/as I did many times. Well times have changed - security and laws vary greatly throughout the EU. I do not recommend carrying on trains or through any airport in the EU or USA. Dogs are everywhere. Watch out for scams,pick-pockets and oregano. Enjoy Europe Cop Free. Peace-Be Safe
Rogue River, OR USA Fri 03/02/2007
Just a quick layover in the Dam
I'm a 22 year old guy from Boston and will be back to beautiful Amsterdam for my 3rd visit, only this one will be a short one; a quick 4 1/2 hour layover on my way to Bahrain in the Middle East. Arrive at Schiphol around 09:05 on 7 March (next wednesday). I would love to enjoy the liberal atmosphere with a couple of seasoned travelers to share some stories and more than a few laughs. Any takers? Thanks every one, take care and safe travels.
Boston, MA USA Wed 02/28/2007
stay outside the red light
I've lived and studied in Germany for a few years and have traveled to the Netherlands many times. In Amsterdam, of course, they sell marijuana and hashish for mostly the tourist populous in and around the red light district. However, if one is interested in trying the products that Amsterdam offers, I would suggest going outside the tourist trap that the red light offers and hit some of the coffee shops the locals go to. Usually the prices are cheaper with better or the same quality product that you get in the tourist traps like the Grasshopper or Bulldog shops. Do yourself a favor and don't bother with these places unless you're apart of a roudy stag party from the UK. So if you are looking for a quiet place to try some new things, stay out of the red light and perhaps try places like Umma Gumma (the Pink Floyd coffeshop) or try some places around the Jordaan. Happy smoking
Chicago, IL USA Sat 02/17/2007
Only in The Dam!
Basically buying any erb in the Dam is fine and is regulated by the coffeeshops themselves. It means that there product is "very potent" and easly available at any shop. Cheers......
Ottawa, ONT Canada Thu 02/15/2007
Thank you. I think I'll keep my stonning at home.
Albuquerque, NM USA Wed 02/14/2007
Listen to Al
No matter how many times you have gotten through the airport or customs with your stash, you will eventually get caught. You're ignorant if you think otherwise. It is not worth the hassle, embarassment or money it will cost you to get out of all the legal trouble you will cause for yourself. Enjoy what you can where you can, but leave it there! Al, keep educating them. Your advice is solid, even if you are an old reprobate.
DALLAS, TX USA Wed 02/14/2007
Use discretion, but take what you need with you in Europe ????
I would not advise anyone to enter Heathrow or any UK port with even a small quantity of cannabis, no matter how well dressed or well mannered you are.
Far from facing an situation where you get a fine or are let off with or without your stash you will in fact find yourself taken to a holding cell.
Your luggage and personal effects will be searched in minute detail.
You will be required to remove all clothing.
You will be given a paper one piece union suit to wear.
You will be deported back to your native country. You will have to pay for the cost of deportation. If payment cannot be made your costs will be met by the US Embassy in Grosvernor Square. The US government will then recoup their costs when you have been deported back to the USA.
If you are a minor your parents will be notified.
The events relating to your deportation will be held on file in the USA and may be disclosed to future employers.
The details of your deportation will be held by the UK authorities and will almost certainly mean you will be denied entry to the UK. The details of your deportation will be passed to other EU member states.
You may very well find yourself denied entry to any EU country.
Nottingham, UK Wed 02/14/2007
Would you Travel Canada thro' to the USA whilst holding ?
If you would not be willing to do it at hoem, then I would suggest that it would be foolhardy for a US citizen to try it in Europe.
Europeans may seem to do it and smoke etc on the streets, but as a US citizen/Passport holder, I doubt you would be treated so leinently.
Seconarily - this type of action may seem harmless, but it does means the the city fatehrm of the Dam, but more importanlty Maastrict etc are now under severe pressure to stop selling , due to the amount of Drug tourists who are taking the stuff back home or into other countries and geting caught.
Thirdly - Europe is not a liberal Continent all over - you get caught in rural bavaria and you will get severe punishment.
Its up to you, but I would respectufully suiggest that for the sake of a few smokes, the risk is disproportional.
NYC, USA Mon 02/12/2007
Previous poster is correct. Much easier to take a quick 20 minute train to Central Station and find some goods there. I suggest you go to Coffeeshop Central. As you can guess from the name it is near the Central Station. Actually it is right across the street and it is much easier to find than Barneys and Grey Area and also much closer.
MI USA Tue 01/30/2007
Coffeeshops Near Airport
Lor, Amsterdam is a quick train ride in from the airport. My suggestion is you hussle to the train and walk quickly once you get to Central Station. Barney's is a good bet because they are open in the morning and they always do well in the Cannabis Cup. It is about a 10 minute walk from the station. Closer to the station are Cafe 420 which is also known as De Kuil (good if you like Frank Zappa), and the Grey Area (excellent but small). Enjoy.
Minong, Wi USA Mon 01/22/2007
Hi Mike. Easy Times can be found on Prinsengracht.
Nottingham, UK Mon 01/08/2007
I really liked The Rookies off Leidsplein. People actually talked and had energy, as opposed to many other coffeeshops which were very sedated and glum. The Rookies was more like your favorite pub back home. Even if marijuana was not legal, Amsterdam would be an incredible city.
USA Sun 01/07/2007
re: current Amsterdam climate
the ban is definitely not true. We were in Amsterdam today and bought some nice stuff from Paradox!
USA Thu 01/04/2007
I agree with Al, and another not to miss in the Grey Area. Be sure to get some ak-47 from John, they are very friendly to Americans, being that themselvs....I miss you guys, and my favorite city..
N.H. USA Tue 01/02/2007
cuurent Amsterdam climate
I don't know where your information comes from but thankfully it is 100% wrong. My long time favourite coffee shop is 'Bluebird' on Sint Antoinebree Straat, that's a very personal choice motivated by over 20 years of patronage based on friendship, nostalgia and a warm welcome for an old reprobate.
Nottingham, UK Tue 01/02/2007