The 20th edition of the annual Amsterdam Dance Event kicked off in the Dutch capital on Wednesday, and te city of Amsterdam has announced that attendees caught with five or fewer ecstasy pills will not be charged. The usual legal possession limit is one pill.
Speaking to Dutch TV station AT5, People’s Party for Freedom & Democracy (VVD) chairman Marja Ruigrok said: “It is strange that we are so much more generous in Amsterdam in that policy.”
“I find five pills too much for one person,” he said. “You could perhaps be well off with just one. But we actually believe that you should not do it at all. It is dangerous, you do not know what it contains. It is forbidden.”
Despite objections from the country’s conservative politicians, Amsterdam and ADE will uphold the relaxed limit for the duration of the festival, which runs until Sunday. Drug-testing and information centre Jellinek will keep longer hours throughout ADE and maintain pop-up stations throughout the city. There will also be medical staff on-site constantly throughout the event.
The festival’s announcement of the liberal ecstasy policy comes just days after the the publicising of an “extremely dangerous” batch of ecstasy tablets pressed with the ADE logo. The pills reportedly carry “an increased risk of overdose” and have been linked to a handful of deaths. Additionally, according to the NL Times, at least three deaths at last year’s ADE were linked to drug use.