High street? Dutch ecstasy ‘shop’ shows possible way for drug reform

Mock-up XTC store in the centre of Utrecht demonstrates how drug might be sold if regulations change
The Guardian (UK)
Thursday, August 18, 2022

nl xtc shop poppiFor campaigners advocating drug liberalisation, it is an image that is almost too good to be true: a store down a cobbled street in Utrecht legally selling ecstasy or MDMA for recreational use. The XTC shop in the centre of the Netherlands’ fourth largest city has even been visited in recent days by a government minister, who was pictured examining its bubblegum-style vending machines and in-house educational videos. Unfortunately for drug reformers, however, the “shop” is not – yet – the result of the extension of the famous Dutch gedoogbeleid (tolerance policy) on cannabis use and sale. The health minister was instead visiting a mock-up of how an ecstasy retailer might look – with three models inside of how the drug might be sold in practice depending on the level of state regulation.