According to an interview from THUMP with Jan Paternotte, a member of Amsterdam’s city council, the “five pill policy” has been in effect for years and is not a result of ADE this year or its affiliates.
Well, it’s not a law, but it’s a policy, and it’s been the policy for a couple of years now. It’s only started to get attention this time around. I don’t know why, but for some reason everyone started talking about the five pill policy.
This contradicts a statement from the city of Amsterdam, which states, “The Amsterdam policy for dance events was updated last June. It was drafted by the city of Amsterdam, the police and the public prosecutor’s office, health services and the fire department, with input from organisers of dance events and other experts. The policy is founded on the notion that drugs are illegal and therefore not allowed at events. Every person that is found to be in possession of drugs is required to hand it in and will be removed from the venue. It is up to the public prosecutor to decide to press charges.”
For a different explanation of ADE’s and Amsterdam’s policies, go here.
Amsterdam Dance Event, held in Amsterdam every year, is one of the world’s largest gatherings of industry leaders, producers, and businessmen involved in electronic music. It is also the place where DJ Mag’s Top 100 list is announced. So as you can imagine, for the week that it occurs, it’s wild. Over 200 events will take place throughout the week at clubs and venues – exclusive and open. And with all the visitors and denizens, there’s a need to party and let loose.
Amsterdam wants to help with that.
During the week of ADE, Amsterdam will allow up to five (5) ecstasy pills per person, compared to the rest of the Netherlands, which only allows one. It’s already a more lenient policy than a lot of the rest of the world, the US included, and it has some people divided.
“It is strange that we are so much more generous in Amsterdam in that policy,” said Amsterdam VVD chairman Marja Ruigrok. “I find five pills too much for one person. You could perhaps be well off with just one.” Ruigrok clarifies his statement, saying that he doesn’t believe you should take the drug at all, echoing sentiments that it’s difficult for a buyer to tell what a pill contains.
Another party in Amsterdam, the D66, a self-recognized Social Democratic party, is happy with the policy. Faction leader Jan Paternotte believes that it is in the public’s better interest to go after the dealers than the users. “You should help with that and make it possible for them to have their pills tested,” he said.
Of course, Amsterdam isn’t just enabling this policy and letting people go wild with it. According to Mixmag:
Precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of ADE revellers. People feeling unwell will be able to receive medical attention from onsite personnel without the fear of facing prosecution.
Drug centre Jellinek will also extend its opening hours and set up a city centre location where people will be able to have their drugs tested to ensure they are safe.
As one of the more progressive cities in the world, Amsterdam is setting a precedent for future events. Whether other locations, states, or countries will follow suit is another matter entirely.