Soft Drug Policy in Holland

Dwi Prasetya (Narasi, Jakarta)

Marijuana and Coffeeshops are not legal in the Netherlands. Early 2007 Coffeeshops that served alcohol were forced to choose between cannabis and beer. In 2008, the Netherlands, as other countries, imposed restrictions on smoking in public places.

Then the policy of legalization of “soft drugs” were applied, including legalizing coffeeshop to sell marijuana, and government regulations issued by January 1, 2013 stated, tourists are allowed into the coffeeshop. In fact, data from Amsterdam tourism sites, 35% of tourists in the city was coffeeshop customers.

However the health department in the Netherlands already found out that Cannabis was less harmful than other ‘illegal substances”, the government decided not to prosecute the possession of small amounts of Cannabis. With this of course there was also a need to regulate outlets/ dispensaries/ coffeeshops.

This makes the Netherlands as one of the world’s tourist paradise of drugs.


Dwi Prasetya

Dwi Prasetya was born in Sukoharjo, Central Java, 29 March 1987. Getting to know and using analog cameras since elementary school. He's interested in visual and graphics. He joined the Fisip Fotografi Club (FFC) during his study at Sebelas Maret University (UNS) Surakarta and learned about photography. In 2015, he was assigned as the photographer for the Merdeka Palace. In 2016, he had the opportunity to attend World Press Photo Awards Days in Amsterdam.

While working, he has visited several countries, including Hong Kong, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Thailand, as well as several areas in Indonesia, such as Bali, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Biak, Jambi, Central Sulawesi, Labuan Bajo, Central Kalimantan, Medan, Jogjakarta, Solo, and many more.