Can You Take Edibles From Amsterdam?
If during your stay in Amsterdam the places you frequent the most are coffeeshops, I’m sure this question has crossed your mind at least once. Why don’t I take some hash brownies home with me? Because let’s face it – edibles are not cannabis itself, they only contain it, so maybe the law enforcements can turn a blind eye at transporting space cakes or other edibles via airplane?
Can you take edibles from Amsterdam? No! Taking drugs through the border is strictly forbidden, no matter if you are talking about marihuana leaves or edibles. For smuggling drugs you can face a penalty: fine or even time in prison depending on specific laws in the country you’re caught on it.
Photo courtesy of boerejongens.com
If you are still not convinced (will they really cause me trouble over a piece of cake?) read the rest of this article. You will find there also some tips on how to make the most of your trip (pun intended) from Amsterdam back home while staying on the right side of the law.
What does the law say about taking edibles from Amsterdam?
You should remember that marihuana and other soft drugs are not legal in the Netherlands. Possessing marihuana for personal purposes and smoking it in coffeeshops is decriminalized – it means that technically you are not allowed to do this, but nothing will happen to you if you do it anyway, but this policy only applies when you follow the rules. It is important to remember this detail because then it will be easier to understand the drug policy at the airport.
Taking any drugs out of the country is illegal. Period. And no matter how you spin it, edibles contain cannabis ergo they are drugs.
Photo Courtesy of -JvL- || Flickr
You may think that if you are going to a country where marihuana is legal then taking edibles with you won’t be a problem if you pass the customs at Schiphol that is. But still, even the countries that have legalized personal use of marihuana (like Canada for example) still forbid bringing it to their country via planes or any other means for that matter. Of course, the edibles are not specified in the rulebook, but if the marihuana used for medicinal purposes is forbidden, I think it’s safe to assume the edibles are as well.
When it comes to other countries, where you cannot legally buy and smoke weed, the matter is quite simple. The no drugs policy applies to anything that contains weed as well, so it is not legal to bring any hash brownies to such a country.
Click Here To See My Favorite Hotels in Amsterdam
So, to sum up, the rules are crystal clear – edibles contain marihuana. Therefore it is illegal to take some on a plane and out of the Netherlands. And – as far as I know – there is no country you can legally bring weed to in any form.
If you are in Amsterdam and you would like to learn more about cannabis culture you can go for a coffeeshop tour. There are many different tours on the internet. I know a guy who runs that kind of tours and I can definitely recommend him as a guide. His name is Otto and here you can learn more about his tours.
What can happen at the airport?
You may wonder now whether this illegal act of taking space cake or weed brownies on a plane would be severely punished. Of course, it’s illegal, but what may actually happen when you’re caught carrying edibles in your baggage?
In the Netherlands, when you have a small amount of marihuana on you (up to 5 g), and you get caught at the Schiphol airport, you’ll probably be told-off, and the customs will confiscate your weed. And it’s the same with the edibles, though there’s no set limit of how much of a space cake you can have on you. But it still will be confiscated. So what may happen is you will be pointed out by sniffing dogs and searched thoroughly. The explaining may take some time and won’t be funny at all.
What about other countries?
For example, in the UK, for four years now the airport officials are not arresting passengers caught with small amounts of marihuana. That is, if you have less than an ounce of weed on you (that is about 28 g) you will not go to prison (yay!), but the weed still gets to be confiscated.
In the USA the officials always state that they are not actively looking for peoples’ personal stash of weed (edibles included), but if during the normal search it turns up they have to report it. And you may expect the procedure to be similar – search and detention at first, fine and in some states you can even face jail time as an aftermath.
The situation may be worse in the countries where there is no leniency toward the personal usage of cannabis. There (for example in countries like Egypt or Guyana) you will most probably end up in prison when caught possessing even small amounts of weed. Or edibles of course. So, if that is where you’re going from Amsterdam you shouldn’t even think about taking edibles with you.
The thing is, edibles may be harder to detect and therefore safer to travel by plane with but… is it really worth the risk AND the stress of being caught? Surely you will find stories about people who did it and you can read all about how happy they were to enjoy their space cake in peace at home. But most of the stories also contain a vivid description of their fear when they had to pass the searching dogs and officials. Some of those hwo tried this almost confessed because they couldn’t stand the pressure. Most of them say they don’t regret it but strangely don’t want to repeat it either.
Maybe some other means of transport?
We’ve already established that taking any drugs in any form out of the Netherlands is illegal and you now know what may happen when you are caught at the airport.
But maybe you are wondering whether taking a bus wouldn’t be a solution? Unfortunately, professional drug dealers also tend to come up with such a brilliant idea, and that is why every international bus from the Netherlands is targeted, and the passengers sometimes have to undergo a thorough search. So, no matter how often someone says that you have a better chance to escape sniffing dogs and law enforcement taking a bus, you should not take it seriously.
OK, what about sending yourself some delicious package as a souvenir from Amsterdam? Well, it is not a good solution either, as mailing edibles is not legal as well so it may land you in trouble. What’s also important to know, in some countries (USA for example) Postal Service workers are rewarded for finding drugs in the packages. So you can’t even hope that they will look the other way – it’s in their own interest to find precisely what you would be mailing. And though it may not seem to be such a big deal it is still drug trafficking and you definitely don’t want to be mixed in that.
The only legal way to take edibles with you
So, there is a legal way to transport the edibles from Amsterdam after all! Indeed – you can buy your space cake or brownie and eat it before your flight, as the only legal way to travel with edibles is when they are safe in your stomach. BUT. Do not eat too much at once, especially when you’re new at this. You may feel the effect of the edibles even after one hour after consuming them! And if you’ve eaten it on a full stomach, it may take even longer to hit you. If you’ve never eaten space cakes before, don’t ever do it before a flight as you cannot predict your reaction after consuming marihuana. Some people feel the strong need to be in an open space which may pose a problem as you’re locked in a plane a few thousand kilometres high in the sky. So if you decide to do this, be sure that you know your limits and – most of all – have someone trusted besides you. And honestly, if you’re so determined to have your trip during the flight, I think it’s better to go to a coffeeshop just before going to an airport and smoke something pleasant.
So, all in all, it’s definitely not legal or smart to take edibles from Amsterdam to your home country as a souvenir. The only thing you can do is to make the most of your visit to Amsterdam while you’re still here and come back as soon as it’s possible!
Can I take a joint with me from Amsterdam? Absolutely not. It is forbidden to take any amount of weed out of the Netherlands, whether you’re travelling by plane or bus. Some people did it (mostly because they forgot they have a joint on them), but in truth, possible consequence outweighs the profit.
Can I take weed seeds from Amsterdam? You can legally buy marihuana seeds in Amsterdam, but it’s not legal to take it to other countries. That said, you should remember that cannabis seeds have no specific smell to them so they won’t be detected during airport or bus drug control.
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My name is Rafal. I live and work in Amsterdam. I love this city and I share things about Amsterdam as I learn them. On this blog you can find info on cannabis culture, partying and besides that, I answer questions I am often asked.
Amsterdam Coffeeshops Guide
Amsterdam counts about 160 coffeeshops and most of them are located in the Red Light District. From psychedelic to hipster-ish but also from very local ones to more touristic places, each of Amsterdam coffeeshops has its own atmosphere. You can find some notable examples categorised at the bottom of this page.
Amsterdam coffeeshops are not only to smoke weed. They are real social places where you can easily meet people and spend some good times with friends. Watching TV, playing chess or card games and much more can be done here. And always in a very relaxing way.
Due to the allowance of cannabis consumption and sex work, the Netherlands are reputed to be a very liberal country. This is true but you should be aware of the Dutch laws and the rules inside a coffee shop.
If you would like to get more interesting information you can visit the
Hash and Marihuana Museum in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam marijuana laws
- Possession of drugs is punishable, but with a maximum of 5 grams of weed or hash the police will just take the drugs. You can give them up and you will not be prosecuted.
- If you have more soft drugs than the quantity for personal use (5 gram) you will be fined and risk a prison sentence.
- Minors are not allowed to have any drugs, the tolerance policy does not apply to them, so you must be 18 or over to buy drugs.
- Growing weed at home is illegal, however 5 plants or less you can give them up and you will generally not be prosecuted.
- Hard drugs are not allowed.
- Import and export of drugs is illegal.
- You cannot smoke in public. You can smoke weed only in Amsterdam coffeeshops.
Amsterdam coffeeshop rules
- You must be 18 or older (21 years old in some establishments) and always have your passport or ID with you.
- You are allowed to come twice a day maximum to the same coffee shop.
- You can buy maximum 5 grams per day.
- Alcohol and cigarettes are forbidden.
- You must not cause any nuisance.
- The use of hard drugs is strictly forbidden.
What to do in Amsterdam while being high
Most of the coffeeshops are in the touristic part of Amsterdam old town. And so are most of the attractions. Here is a list of some recommended Amsterdam attractions to explore when enjoying marijuana consumption.
– A horror theater show, where you get to experience short performances accompanied by sound, smell and light effects while walking through a dungeon. – Disected bodies of real people serve to illustrate detailed human anatomy. – A boat ride through the canals of Amsterdam is a must when there. – Do you dare to sit into a helicopter? – There are many interesting things to see in an old Heineken brewery. – See the whole city. There is a restaurant there too.
History of coffeeshops in Amsterdam
Amsterdam coffee shops, not to be confused with cafés, have been a part of the city since the 1970s, when the Dutch government made a clear distinction in the law between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drugs. Unlike Amsterdam’s fully legal smart shops, Amsterdam coffeeshops have always existed in a legal grey area.
Everything started in the 70’s with the growing hippy community. Weed and hashish were illegal at that time, but places like the Paradiso or the Melkweg were famous to have great artists playing and people would enjoy some good music there while sharing a joint. That’s how in those music places we could find some house dealers. The dealers were though tolerated to do their business inside the houses.
In 1972, the first coffee shop opened its doors: the Mellow Yellow. At that time, the place was called a “tea house” and it was the only place where you could buy and smoke weed in a tolerated way. In fact, even if regarding to the Dutch law consuming cannabis was forbidden, the explosion of hard drugs such as heroin and the fast increasing amount of their users led the government and the police agreed that tolerating soft drugs would keep people away from the hard ones.
The owner of the Mellow Yellow – Wernerd – did a great bet with his business. He had no idea it was going to become so popular and then even a part of the Dutch history and culture.
These days, an agreement between Amsterdam city council and the coffeeshop union Bond van Cannabis Detaillisten (BCD) allows coffee shops to operate in a tricky legal loophole and they are tolerated. An official green and white sticker must be displayed in the window of each Dutch coffeeshop.
How to order weed in an Amsterdam coffeeshop
Amsterdam coffee shops are not allowed to make any advertising but you will be able to identify them easily. Official Dutch coffee shops have a green and white licence sticker on the window.
To enter a coffeeshop in Amsterdam, you must be older than 18 years and have an ID.
Coffeeshops are not allowed to do any advertising so you will generally not find any details posted outside or inside. Just ask the person at the counter for the menu, and they’ll give you what you pick. Ask for advice if you are not sure. These people are here to make sure everything is safe.
Some tips: Tips and hints for buying marijuana and cannabis from Amsterdam coffee shops.
Basic smoking tips
A general rule of thumb is that the more expensive, the stronger the weed. For inexperienced smokers a gram of weed will get you high about 8 times. You can mix the cannabis with tobacco and roll it into a joint. You can also roll a joint from pure marijuana but it will be strong and you will most likely get so stoned that you will not even enjoy it. The advice is to start slow. Also don’t smoke marijuana after drinking alcohol.
Many local residents of Dutch cities are unhappy by the amount of drug tourism. That is why many cities in the Netherlands require you to have a “weedpass” to enter a coffeeshop. These are issued only to the residents of The Netherlands. So an ID and the proof of residency (extract from the Municipal Personal Records Database) is needed to buy marijuana in these towns.
It is not like this in Amsterdam. In amsterdam tourists are free to visit coffeeshops and buy cannabis. But there are voices trying to change that. So you better hurry if you plan to do some coffeeshops tourism.
Touristic Amsterdam coffeeshops
These places can get crowded, with a mix of locals, expats and tourists looking for a good time. Located close or in the center of the city these three coffeeshops have a good weed selection and a nice atmosphere.
Interesting design Amsterdam coffeeshops
Special décor, a different feel, a pool table. These locations offer much more than just weed and will transport you to far far away.
Chill and relaxed Amsterdam coffeeshops
These coffeeshops are a node to the relaxed vibe weed brings. With comfortable chairs, friendly staff and good tunes, these places are the ones to pass the hours away.
Amsterdam coffeeshops for youth
Lots of wild youngsters visit these places. Students, backpackers, artists, workers.. You might fit just in.
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