It’s a Weed Wonderland But The Drug Hangouts in the Red Light District Are Not Nearly As Lively as the Bars
The idea is great. Legally smoking pot in public. In a bar!
No looking over the shoulder, no hiding to light up or discreetly taking hits.
They are the coffee shops of Amsterdam, and they are nothing like coffee shops in the United States. These are bars located primarily in the Red Light District that sell marijuana to people who sit in booths and smoke it right out in the open.
A newcomer to Amsterdam – particularly one who is a strong supporter of California’s Prop 19 – might find this to be a weed wonderland. But what’s it really like in an Amsterdam coffee shop?
For the mostly curious and casual, occasional or even squid smoker, well, they are not all they are cracked up to be, frankly. In fact, they are among the most boring places on the earth.
What, you say? The image may be one of wild partying and dancing on tables but think about it: Everyone is stoned.
People are slumped down in the booths, some just staring at the wall. They are talking in whispers, if talking at all. If you want lively action, go to one of the city’s fantastic bars.
This does bring to mind a friend’s story about his first experience with space cake, a type of brownie filled with pot or hash. He’s what I call a “V-8” guy – he’s got to have the big American V-8 engine propel his every action. He must always have the most powerful computer, the biggest powerplant available for his muscle car, the most high-tech and largest electronics. He’s a true meat-and-potatoes guy. (He also likes big, powerful women, but that’s another blog!)
This mentality does not lend itself to having patience. He doesn’t want to wait on things, he wants them RIGHT. NOW!
But when it came to space cake, he bit off a bit more than he could chew. He was told they were pretty powerful and as a novice he should only have a half portion. He did, but after a couple of minutes did not experience any mind-altering effects. Feeling he was ripped off, he gobbled down the other half and stormed out the door.
Well, space cake is not a tequila shot. It takes time for its effects to be felt. And about a half-hour later, while sitting it a park, it hit him. And hit him hard.
So hard, in fact, that his life turned into a kind of human kaleidoscope. He started walking around in a daze, which in Amsterdam may seem commonplace but with the fast-moving trams going constantly through the city’s streets, it’s not a good idea.
“I somehow managed to stagger back to my hotel room,” he later recalled. “My heart was racing and I thought I might die. I even left the door open so the paramedics could get to me quicker.”
As it turns, out, such assistance was never needed. But “Mr. V-8” got a healthy dose of respect for the tiny space cake.