Drug-related crime and nuisance

Drug dealers and drug users may cause considerable nuisance. This applies to cannabis growers as well as to nuisance in the vicinity of coffee shops.

Nuisance associated with coffee shops

There is more crime and nuisance in the vicinity of coffee shops than elsewhere. For this reason, stricter rules for the sale of cannabis in coffee shops have been introduced. A coffee shop is an establishment where cannabis may be sold, but no alcoholic drinks may be sold or consumed.

Cannabis growing causes nuisance

Cannabis growing in residential areas is a fire hazard and can cause flooding, unpleasant odours, and damage to people's homes.

The government and the police combat cannabis growing in a variety of ways:

  • by dismantling cannabis-growing operations;
  • by making arrests;
  • by seizing the proceeds of crime;
  • by terminating rental contracts.

Combating the production of synthetic drugs

The government combats production of, and trafficking in, synthetic drugs such as ecstasy by, for instance, cutting off the supply of raw materials. Every year, the police dismantle approximately 20 laboratories used to produce synthetic drugs.

Combating trafficking in hard drugs

It is against the law to:

  • possess;
  • sell; or
  • produce

hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

To enforce this prohibition, the police, the Royal Military and Border Police and the Customs Administration carry out rigorous checks at Schiphol and other airports and at seaports.

Penalties for drug smuggling

It is against the law to sell, import and export drugs. In the Netherlands, drug smuggling carries a maximum sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment or a maximum fine of €45,000.