Amsterdam has been famous for their approach to Drug Policy. Since the 1970’s, the Dutch government adopted policies encompassing cannabis or marijuana; showing tolerance for personal use and allowing sale of small amounts in a controlled and regulated environment. It is common knowledge throughout the world that in Amsterdam, you may enter a coffee shop, a term they use for cannabis stores, and buy soft drugs. They are the only ones allowed to sell soft drugs and not more than five grams of cannabis per person per day.
The expenditures of the drug market
The drug policy of the Netherlands officially has four major objectives:
• To avoid recreational drug use and to treat and rehabilitate recreational drug users.
• To reduce harm to users.
• To decrease public nuisance by drug users (the disturbance of public order and safety in the neighborhood).
• To counter the production and trafficking of recreational drugs.
For these reasons, a healthy tourism market developed, accommodating millions of travelers from all over the world. But how does this impacted the region economically?
Netherlands’ famous red light districts and coffee shops selling sex and drugs contribute 2.5 billion euros a year to the national economy. About half of the consumption is domestic, much of it in coffee shops and brothels. The rest are from export, primarily of drugs. Britain’s Office for National Statistics estimated that drugs and prostitution would add almost 1 percent to GDP, and said that total changes would raise GDP by 4-5 percent.
Cannabis and more
Coffee shops are not the only canna-businesses based in Amsterdam. Seed companies like Sensi Seeds, Green House and Bulldog Seeds, a side endeavor from The Bulldog Coffee House are still thriving. World renowned geneticists based in Holland are able to study and create seeds, sold over the internet and some of the largest seed banks call Amsterdam their home.