Amsterdam allows visitors to carry 5 ecstasy pills without prosecution
As opposed to taking the hard line approach that most American festivals have used to combat drug use at electronic music events, the city of Amsterdam, host to the week-long industry gathering Amsterdam Dance Event, adopted a more lenient policy several years ago. Though drugs remain illegal in the country, the policy allows a more forgiving approach to those who are caught with under five ecstasy pills, allowing the public prosecutor to make the decision as to whether they should be prosecuted.
“It is strange that we are so much more generous in Amsterdam in that policy,” noted Amsterdam VVD chairman Marja Ruigrok. He added, “I find five pills too much for one person. You could perhaps be well off with just one. But we actually believe that you should not do it at all. It is dangerous, you do not know what it contains. It is forbidden.”
The circulation of the progressive policy arrives on the heels of a nationwide report that warned of a potent batch of pills circulating around the city. A crackdown on the use of ecstasy is not a high priority; rather, Amsterdam officials are hopeful that tolerance toward drugs will promote a safer experience for all. The city has since formed several partnerships to assist in the festival’s execution, calling upon the Public Health Service, the Drug Advisory Board, ADE, and Jellinek, a drug testing center, to ensure the safety of ADE attendees. Jellinek will extend its hours to assist in the testing of pills, and medical staff will be on site during the festival.
Update: The drug policy was implemented by the City of Amsterdam last June and was implemented with the notion that drugs are illegal and still not tolerated at events. Those who were caught with drugs would have the substances confiscated and then be escorted out of the event.