On Monday (18th May), the largest political youth organization in the Netherlands will open the world’s first ecstasy-shop in Amsterdam. While the Netherlands is known for its open attitude towards marijuana, ecstasy is currently prohibited in the country, to the dissatisfaction of the youth wing of the Liberal Democrats (D66) in the Dutch parliament.
In the store the youth will show ‘why regulation is better than leaving the distribution to illegal street dealers’. Dirkjan Tijs, president of the Young Democrats claims: ‘We can prevent minors from buying, make sure there’s no overdose in pills and educate people on ways to minimize the risks involved with ecstasy-usage.’ Last october, three users of polluted black-market ecstasy died during the Amsterdam Dance Event.
The shop, which will only be open for one day, is part of a broader initiative by the youth to put ecstasy-legalization on the agenda of Dutch parliament. They have launched a citizen initiative called MDMJA – combining the Dutch word for yes and the name of the working substance in ecstasy – which will need 40.000 signatories to address the issue. Earlier efforts to convince mother party D66 of their case have not yet been successful: ‘for now it’s one bridge too far, let’s first fully legalize the production of marijuana’, the mother party claims.
The production, sale and use of ecstasy is currently illegal in the Netherlands. A recent study has shown that over half a million Dutch inhabitants have tried ecstasy at least once in their life.