Fake drugs scam

Amsterdam-scams-white_heroin-sold-as-cocaineThe vast majority of tourists in Amsterdam are visiting the city for its romantic canals, the interesting museums or the laid-back atmosphere. But there’s no denying that especially the Red Light District also attracts a much different crowd, ranging from drunken Brits on a stag party to those who’ve heard about the Dutch liberal approach to soft drugs. Those who are looking to smoke marihuana or hashish can find anything of their liking at special “coffeeshops” with the characteristic cannabis leaf in their logo.  These shops are regulated and regularly inspected by the government, as they have to abide to strict laws to the maximum amount they can sell and to whom they are allowed to sell.

Amsterdam-scams-dangerous_cocaine-warningThis grey and sometimes area between legal and illegal is bound to attract scammers trying to take advantage of those looking to cross the border or those too shy to walk into a store and ask for drugs. That’s why buying drugs on the streets from strangers offering their products is always a bad idea. The classic trick of selling a bag of oregano for the price of marihuana makes you feel like an idiot for falling for it, but at least it’s harmless. But things can become dangerous pretty quickly, for example in late 2014 and early 2015, when 3 tourists in Amsterdam died and many were taken to a hospital after they were sold white heroin instead of cocaine.

Amsterdam-scams-dangerous-XTC_pillsThe same risks are prevalent when buying Ecstacy (XTC) pills from a stranger on the streets for use during one of the many dance festivals or music festivals: some pills may have an dangerously high dose of MDMA (the active ingredient of an XTC pill), while others may be contaminated with other chemicals, which may be poisonous by themselves or could cause a reaction in combination with other substances you may have taken that day.

Be advised that although The Netherlands and the city of Amsterdam may have a liberal approach to some soft drugs, not every type of drug is legal to use, so besides the obvious health risks from buying an unfamiliar substance from an unknown stranger in the streets, you’ll also run the risk of getting arrested for possession or use of illegal drugs. The only way to know for sure that you’re abiding the law and that you’re actually getting what you’re paying for, is to buy from the authorized coffeeshops.

Or stay away from drugs altogether and enjoy the city’s laid-back atmosphere without the need for artificial stimulation or hallucination.

 

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