In the Netherlands, it is against the law to possess, sell or produce drugs. However, the Netherlands tolerates the sale of soft drugs in ‘coffee shops’. A coffee shop is an establishment where cannabis is sold subject to certain strict conditions, but no alcoholic drinks are sold or consumed.
The Dutch Public Prosecution Service does not prosecute members of the public for possession or use of small quantities of soft drugs. They do prosecute all other forms of possession, sale or production of soft or hard drugs.
In the Netherlands as elsewhere, drugs cause nuisance and crime. The government is responding by imposing tougher rules on coffee shops, dismantling cannabis-growing operations and curbing the production of, and trafficking in, hard drugs.
Addiction care is available for those who are addicted to drugs.