Update 10/18: It seems that the five-pill policy was actually implemented by the city of Amsterdam, and will not be upheld by the festival itself. According to a press release written in response to the many articles that were published on the topic: “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.”

The statement clarifies the source of confusion as well: “Amsterdam recognises that drug use cannot be completely prevented. Therefore Amsterdam focuses its efforts primarily – and has done so for years – on harm reduction; trying to prevent serious incidents from happening by informing the public about the dangers of drug use, making drug tests available via Jellinek and the Adviesburo Drugs and by monitoring the drug market and issuing warnings when necessary.”

Thus, it seems that the policy in question was implemented by Amsterdam, and not the Amsterdam Dance Event, which is expecting over 350,000 visitors. Anyone bringing drugs into these dance events could get into trouble after all.


The Amsterdam Dance Event, a massive electronic music conference and festival that has been around for nearly thirty years, has implemented a rather progressive policy: allowing its attendees to carry around a maximum of five ecstasy pills, free of prosecution.

The decision comes following a report regarding a particularly strong batch of pills circulating the market. Rather than implementing stricter policies, Amsterdam officials hope that a tolerant approach will yield better results.

Amsterdam VVD (governmental) chairman Marja Ruigrok is not a fan of the policy. “It is strange that we are so much more generous in Amsterdam in that policy,” she said. “I find five pills too much for one person. 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.”

Nevertheless, the event will test the new policy of not persecuting anyone found with five or fewer pills on their person. The ADE assures that it has taken extensive precautions to ensure the safety of its attendees, teaming up with the Drug Advisory Board, Public Health Service, and drug testing center Jellinek.

The Amsterdam Dance Event will take place today, October 14th, through Sunday October 18th, and feature more than 2,000 DJs across 450 events.

[Via Dancing Astronaut]