Last juli a store called XTC opened it’s doors in Utrecht. And though it may sound like they sell the infamous partydrug, they don’t. What visitors do get is a glance into a world where the government has legalized them. The Netherlands is one of the biggest producers of XTC in the world. And this comes at a cost. because the XTC supply in the Netherlands is in hands of criminal gangs. Violence and enviormental damage are the result. These are the reasons more and more voices rise to legalize (a part of ) the XTC and MDMA in the Netherlands. The store shows three models of how the drug might be sold in practice depending on the level of state regulation.
The Poppi Drug Museum, a company attempting to create a permanent drug museum, is the organization behind the pop-up. Profits from the museum would be donated to Mainline, a company that specializes in drug harm reduction.
Part of a bigger museum on drugs is yet to be opened in Amsterdam, but the small XTC store showed to be a good starting point for a discussion. Visitors are invited to discuss with each other where they feel the border of legalization should lay. And all tho you might not expect, its mainly the Dutch visitors who feel this should not go to far. A comparison with alcohol or tabacco is made quickly. Because ‘why would something that is less risky than alcohol be illegal? Asking the organization of the store, there is actually a different angle to the discussion that we overlook. Could taking drugs be a human right? How far do the rights of making your own choices as a human and a citizen go?
Reporter Roeland Wendel visited the store on the last day of it being opened in Utrecht. And spoke with one of the organizers of the pop-up, Guido van Diepen.