“Sure you can! Welcome to Amsterdam!”

We’d just come off a red-eye flight from Kigali, Rwanda and were ready for a quick layover in Amsterdam before it was time to get back to our normal lives. It was 7:00am and we had just put our luggage into storage at Schipol Airport and we had the town ahead of us.

We arrived into the middle of town on a train and thought it was so early that at least we could find breakfast somewhere.

Sure enough, there was a “Coffee Shop”. We knew what Coffee Shops in Amsterdam were, but surely we couldn’t get any “libations” that early. Sure enough as we ordered cappuccinos, we saw another menu in our view. A menu that made my eyes grow VERY wide.

Very new to this whole “legal weed” thing, we bought 1 gram of a sativa and were treated to some complimentary rolling papers. We went upstairs to the sitting area, and sure enough, 7:30am by now, there were about half a dozen young people drinking coffee, each with a cone-sized marijuana cigarette hanging out each of their mouths. No sharing, no passing, just a cone joint to themselves.

Levi and I rolled our little baby joint, and proceeded to have a little shared puff with our coffees, smiling to each other that we knew we weren’t in “Kansas” anymore.

All of the sudden, some commotion, and a bunch of the cone-smoking coffee-drinking young people ran downstairs and out onto the street. There was a street brawl.

Finishing our coffee, we put the remainder of our purchase in our pockets, and proceeded outside. We watched as youngin’s brawled before we meant to go on our way, chalking it all down to young guys after a night out getting rowdy after their weed.

But we noticed something.

People were walking the streets with these cone marijuana cigarettes, out in the open, like it was no big deal. Surely you can’t just smoke on the streets, we thought.

We saw one of the girls who had been in the Coffee Shop standing by as her mates brawled. “Can you smoke on the street here?” we asked her, all star eyed and bright-faced.

She chuckled. “Sure you can! Welcome to Amsterdam!”

Needless to say, we visited more than a few Coffee Shops over 36-hour layover. We figure Anne Frank’s house will still be there next time we visit.


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