In the Netherlands, coffeeshops are establishments where the sale of cannabis for personal consumption by the public is tolerated by the local authorities. Under the Dutch drug policy, the sale of cannabis products in small quantities is allowed by ‘licensed’ coffee shops. The majority of these “coffeeshops” (in Dutch written as one word) also serve drinks and food.
The idea of coffeeshops was introduced in the 1970s for the explicit purpose of keeping hard and soft drugs separated. In the Netherlands, 105 of the 443 municipalities have at least one coffeeshop. The highest concentration of coffeeshops in Holland is located in and around the city of Amsterdam.
In this documentary some of the early pioneers explain how this unique system came into existence, survived and evolved over the past 40 years.
Coffeeshops: A short story (2013) 20 minutes