Dutch Tighten Drug Laws Because of Stupid Tourists


The reason, as frequently related to me by friends in Amsterdam, that the Dutch hate drug tourists, via the BBC:

The Dutch government is banning the sale of all magic mushrooms after a series of high-profile incidents involving tourists who had taken them.

Luckily, stupid American tourists aren't the impetus for the ban:

Calls for a re-evaluation of the drug grew after a 17-year-old French girl jumped from a building after eating magic mushrooms during a school trip to Amsterdam in March.

Other incidents involving the drug have included an Icelandic tourist jumping from a balcony and breaking both legs and a Danish tourist driving his car wildly through a camping ground, narrowly missing sleeping campers.

This is reminiscent of the wonderfully offensive Onion headline, "Fun Toy Banned Because Of Three Stupid Dead Kids."

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  1. Those stupid dead kids ruined all the fun for those of us with life and limb left to lose.


    Time to celebrate and get drunk! (just kidding)

    They should follow up with a ban on pot, as their treaty obligations require.

  3. Did she think she could fly? What an idiot!

    Everyone knows you try it from the ground first.

    / apologies to Mr. Hicks


    This is an all time classic drug hysteria story “kid take drugs and plunges to death trying to fly”. Mushrooms can be potent hallucinogenics, but anyone who eats them and then tries to fly wasn’t screwed together right to begin with. There’s more to these stories. My guess is these kids were suicidal before they ate the mushrooms. Of course anytime something bad happens to someone on drugs, it’s all the drugs fault, and a perfectly good reason no one should ever be on drugs…EVER. Unless that drug is alcohol because even though bad things happen to people who drink (and the people around them) you’re still responsible for your actions when you’re drunk.

  5. The Dutch government is banning the sale of all magic mushrooms after a series of high-profile incidents involving tourists who had taken them.

    Bwahahahahahhahahaha. We’ve had ’em banned in the US for years and not one person has taken them since.

    Oh, they have?
    Umm, well, ummm, more money, drug war, that’s the ticket.

  6. “…anyone who eats them and then tries to fly wasn’t screwed together right to begin with.”

    I whole heartedly concur. Same for alcohol.

  7. Reality is for people who can’t handle drugs.

  8. We don’t sell magic mushrooms here. We are simple Dutch farming co-op. Now put your clothes back on, white boy!

  9. “Danish tourist driving his car wildly through a camping ground, narrowly missing sleeping campers”

    nah – that’s just how they drive.

  10. When I was running around Amsterdam on shrooms, I tipped the coffee shop a good 300% on the kind bud… seemed the polite thing to do to make up for being an obnoxious American drug tourist… maybe if more folks had done that this wouldn’t have happened…

  11. Driving on shrooms is awesome. Or, uh, so I hear, anyway. Never mind.

  12. I find it hard to believe that stupid American tourists don’t have something to do with this…

  13. Having had nothing but pleasurable experiences with hallucinogenic drugs, I strongly recommend to anyone who will listen, (insert standard libertarian disclaimer #4 here) DON’T TRY HALLUCINOGENIC DRUGS! I can easily enivision a person with a tenuous grasp of reality going over the edge on a trip. For me, fun and lotsa laffs. For you, hell if I know.

  14. Where’s Carlos Castaneda when you need him?

  15. Where’s Carlos Castaneda when you need him?

    I think he’s trapped in Don Juan’s medicine bag.

    Shrooms + lasers = groovy

  16. I, for one, welcome our new mycological overlords.

  17. wasn’t screwed together right to begin with

    Dittos. I’ve been on a crazy trip or three and never, ever felt the need to toss myself off a balcony. Nor did I have any desire whatsoever to drive a car or operate heavy machinery, so I can’t imagine hurting anyone else either.

  18. American tourists didn’t die because we learned our lesson from Art Linkletter’s daughter.

    She’s the reason I only do shrooms in a ranch house.

  19. They could’ve solved this problems with warnings on the label.

  20. That Onion article was one of the best ever, and so apropos.

    As several posters here have already mentioned, you have to wonder what’s up with some people. What wrong with hanging out with a few friends, putting on Animals and looking at some maps?

  21. I’ll be there in December. We’ll see how ‘banned’ they are.

    PS. Sucks if true cause last time I was there they were incredibly inexpensive.
    PPS. I did see a tourist fall into a canal last time and it was amazing.

  22. “Luckily, stupid American tourists aren’t the impetus for the ban:”

    Hey, Stropharia Cubensis grows wild in abundance across the Southern US( no one at my college ever charged for them unless they were shipping ’em North!).Americans have a lot more experience holding our ‘shrooms than those wooden-shoe-wearing, dike-fingering, windmill humpers and their Euro-weenie tourist base.

    U…S…A! U…S…A! U…S…A!

    They don’t call it American Exceptionalism for nothing!

  23. The only thing missing here is some hippie staring at the sun until he goes BLIND, MAN!

  24. *sigh*

    Hey, I wonder if this will make people pause and think about why we have a drug war to begin with. Only then can we begin with meaningful reform.

  25. How did a 17 year old minor end up with them?? Im sure that they are bought in a store with age restrictions????

  26. Yes, them Dutch. They have the most conservative government in years now. You can’t smoke anymore, can’t drink anymore, can’t look at pretty women anymore, can’t blaspheme religion anymore. No wonder people – and not just the tourists – turn to drugs.

  27. Everybody reacts differently. What this story really shows is that people need to try out small amounts in a safe place and have sober trip-sitters around.

  28. How did a 17 year old minor end up with them?

    Erm, Shawn, did you ever drink before you were 21? Sometimes you can ask people to byu stuff for you. Also, not every 17 year old looks 17. Ask some convenience store clerk who’s been “shopped” by a 17yo who looked 25, and then got busted for selling to an underage kid.

  29. She’s the reason I only do shrooms in a ranch house.

    I have a single story home (although not technically a ranch), so I’m concerned about the placement of the modifier here. Just to be safe, Abdul’s not invited over until we add the second story.

  30. Here’s my attempt to put this into the context of Dutch politics.

    The last Dutch elections were a disaster, and this sort of nonsense is the logical upshot. We saw gains for backward-looking parties in all corners of the political field.

    The Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), which has an anti-immigrant faction but is otherwise the most classically liberal, lost an embarrassing number of MPs to a group of anti-immigrant populists (PVV). The third-wayish Labor party (PvdA) lost an equally embarrassing number of seats to the formerly obscure and Maoist Socialist Party (SP) of comrade Marijnissen and his cadre of media-trained old left revolutionaries whose MP salaries go straight into party coffers. Even the conservative Christian Democrats (CDA) look open-minded compared to the paternalist calvinist group (ChristenUnie) that ate a little of their lunch (but enough to enter the governing coalition.)

    So this decision came as no surprise. Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen’s attempt to reform the smart shops into members-only clubs, thus excluding tourists, was in vain. Minister Klink has pulled out official-looking government reports to support the ban, but equally official-looking reports were produced when on earlier occasions the same substance was not banned. It’s obvious that what happened was just a good ole drug scare.

    Honest upstanding burghers in search of enlightenment, relief of pain (shrooms can be used to treat cluster headaches!), or just plain fun will once more face the wrath of the state. What else is new.

  31. @Steven: As for pot and treaty obligations, the situation with pot is very different than that with shrooms. Shrooms are (but soon won’t be, presumably) actually and properly legal because of a court decision that interpreted the ban on “preparations” of psilocybin not to cover unprocessed mushrooms. Pot, on the other hand, is actually banned under the Opium Act, but the ban is not enforced in certain cases. This policy, locally knows as “gedoogbeleid,” is purely a matter of executive orders instructing law enforcement officials not to enforce the law in some cases. Parliament can in principle override any executive order, fire any minister, and generally order the executive around, but it has chosen not to. Whether or not that constitutes a breach of any treaty I’m not sure (I’m not a lawyer), but it seems to have always been enough, if only barely, to address any objections made by the French.

  32. @Warren, @Jim Bob: I think Jim Bob is right and Warren is wrong. Even those who have their “head screwed on right” to begin with still need to be careful. To what extent you follow the standard precautions (set and setting, that sort of thing) matters a whole lot. The problem is that many tourists come here without any knowledge whatsoever about the “standard” precautions. Some come to Amsterdam for pot or hookers and buy shrooms on a whim or to demonstrate their machismo to friends who are equally unaware of the effects. I think that fundamentally, what’s at fault here is not the exceptional stupidity of some tourists, though. It’s the fact that most places have gone so far with banning everything that’s even potentially dangerous that people have come to assume that anything legal can’t possibly harm them.

  33. Why must they kill all my dreams, god?

    Now I have a reason to hate the French.

  34. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/13/AR2007101301071.html

    This link has absolutely nothing to do, at all, with this story, but I am posting it anyway. Why? Because for weeks, this website posted the same old tired bullshit about how people that claimed Iraq was improving were liars peddling vile propaganda. However, given the nature of this site, I expect to see no blog entries at all making corrections. Therefore I will be posting this link in every blog entries comments section. Time to eat crow, assholes.

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