I am not a seasoned smoker, nor would I even call myself a smoker. The odd puff at the pub as an 18 year-old induced coughing fits, followed by a swift departure from the smokers area back to where I belonged: the dance floor.
Personally I don’t like cancer and smelling like shit.
I’ll admit, I’ve indulged in the odd joint- five times to be precise. The first time was pure experimentation. The second was when my flat decided we would have a bonding session. The other times were a result of extremely stressful situations that even alcohol couldn’t fix. Drastic times, drastic measures.
I’ve smoked it enough to know the basics. Firstly, it stinks. Secondly, the people you do it with aren’t really the sort of people you want to surround yourself with for the rest of your life. Third, it gives you the most wonderful sleep of your life.
So I’ve written this Amsterdam Weed Guide for those nervous about their ‘first time’ visiting a coffee shop.
The green grey area
Marijuana is legal to smoke (kind of) but it is illegal to sell. Soft drugs such as marijuana are legal under the guise of personal use. Marijuana was added to the list of illegal substances to grow and sell under the Opium Act in 1950, however smoking the herb is widely tolerated provided it happens in a controlled manner. So you should be fine having the odd joint in a controlled area such as a coffeeshop- just don’t smoke it on the streets as this is technically illegal.
Amsterdam Weed Guide: Where to go?
There are hundreds of cough coffeeshops in Amsterdam. Barney’s Coffeeshop. Barney’s is one of the best coffeeshops you can visit in Amsterdam, hence why I chose it as my hotspot (geddit!?). It’s in a 500 year-old building, so I felt like I was having a bit of a history tour at the same time. The average joint will cost you around 10-12 euro, more expensive than most places, but they apparently have the best bud in town.
How to buy weed
You pretty much just walk in and buy it. The weedtender will help you with your selection. It’s important you know how to distinguish joints and pure joints. A joint is a mixture of tobacco and marijuana, and a pure joint is, you guessed it, pure marijuana.
It’s a good idea to take a friend with you
If you’re a novice like me, it’s not a good idea to get blazed by yourself. Because I don’t like wasting anything, I decided to smoke the entire joint by myself. That was my first mistake. If you’re with friends, you can pass it around so you don’t end up with your eyes bulging out of your head. Secondly, blah blah, safety and all that. I did have a man take a photo up my dress while I was in a shop staring aimlessly at souvenirs.
Make sure your phone is fully charged
Having to rely on reading an actual map when my phone died and along with it, Google Maps, was probably the toughest challenge I’ve ever faced in my life.
Watch out for cyclists
Because, my lord, they are everywhere. There are practically more cycling lanes than sidewalks and roads. If there is one piece of advice you should hold onto- this is it. Stop, look left, look right, look left and right again, pray, and then cross.