Tourists are still welcome in the remaining coffeeshops.
Hash oil, by the way, is classified as a hard drug and thus totally NOT legal.
(Note: this doesn’t include street walking.) After centuries of shifting laws and regulations (they tried every model out there), the idea behind legalization was that it would make it a hell of a lot easier to keep the women (and some men not in the windows) safer, and make it easier to prevent trafficking.
Prostitutes must be registered with the local chamber of commerce and pay taxes, and in turn they are protected by the same labor laws as everyone else. In 2008, the Netherlands imposed restrictions on smoking tobacco in public places.
Hash (including some seriously strong varieties) is still on the menu, though.
Once another beneficiary of the Tolerance policy, prostitution has been legal since 2000.
From the outside, Amsterdam seems to be the land of “anything goes,” and sure -- you can do a lot here that you can’t do elsewhere. We’ve got rules here just like the rest of the world. So let’s run down what activities actually get the green light, the turn-a-blind-eye orange light, and the straight-up illegal red light. The drinking age for beer and wine used to be 16, but as of 2015 it’s 18 across the board. It actually falls in this murky gray area the Dutch call “Tolerance” -- for weed, this dates back from 1976.
It’s not legal to sell alcohol anywhere cannabis is sold, but some alcohol purveyors are 420 friendly, especially on the terrace. Basically, cops will look the other way for up to 5g per person or plants per household, as long as you’re not selling it.
Sex workers say they have been targeted over the years as local politicians try to reinvigorate the area, under the guise of stopping human trafficking.
Obeying traffic rules is, though, which means riding with a bell plus lights at night.
Expect fines if you’re caught without or running a red light any time of day.
Cars, however, are way more careful around bikes here than in other places because, if anything goes down, the car will always get the blame (and the bill).
That being said, policies on this have softened over the decades, with addicts being treated as ill rather than criminal, particularly heroin addicts.