Cannabis in the Netherlands is illegal, but is decriminalised for personal use. Recreational consumption of the drug is tolerated, and it is available in coffeeshops. Cannabis was first criminalised in the Netherlands in 1953, following earlier laws against its import and export in 1928. Loosening In 1972, the Dutch government divided drugs into more- and less-dangerous categories, with cannabis being in the lesser category. Accordingly, possession of 30 grams or less was made a misdemeanor. Cannabis has been available for recreational use in coffee shops since 1976. Now cannabis products are only sold openly in certain local “coffeeshops” and possession of up to 5 grams for personal use is decriminalised, however, the police may still confiscate it. Other types of sales and transportation are not permitted. Though retail sales are tolerated, production, transportation, and bulk possession of marijuana outside of retail stores is illegal, preventing testing for contaminants and dosing.
Since 2003, there has been a legal prescription drug known as “Mediwiet”, available at Dutch pharmacies. There are five different types of medical cannabis in the Netherlands; the fifth contains Cannabidiol and almost no Tetrahydrocannabinol.