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Realistically speaking, the chances of an airport official finding your tiny bag of 10 seeds is almost zero, assuming you don’t panic and confess when they say hello. If you are going back into the United States directly from the Netherlands there’s a decent chance that a drug-sniffing dog will check out some or all of the luggage from your flight, but we’ve never heard of anyone getting caught this way because the seeds don’t smell like anything while the weed itself can often be smelled by everyone in the terminal.
If you’ve yet to visit Amsterdam and were just thinking that you would just buy some weed instead and take the seeds from there, think again. Pretty much 100% of the weed in Amsterdam is sinsemilla (AKA seedless), and even if you found some that had some seeds it would probably be the last variety you’d want to go through all that trouble to grow yourself.
As mentioned above, it can be great to actually choose what you want while in Amsterdam, after you lock in the particular strain you are after, and then you can usually order it online. Many of these seed banks only ship to countries where it’s actually legal, but many more ship “anywhere in the world” so they let you worry about the consequences.
Bringing seeds back home with you
Is it illegal to bring cannabis seeds back into the United States? You bet. It’s also illegal to bring them into the UK and Canada, last we heard, but that doesn’t stop people from doing it every day.
Ironically, the sale of cannabis seeds in the Netherlands is completely legal, so quite a few storefront operations exist, especially in Amsterdam. Many of these same businesses also sell online, as do many other seed banks, as these places are known, so there has been a shift away from physical retail stores and toward online sales. In other words, some seed banks are closing down their stores, so it’s hard to keep track of them.
Still, this isn’t something to be taken lightly, and you may even notice that the Customs people will emphasize the word SEEDS when they ask you if you’ve brought back any meat or weapons or radioactive materials or seeds and so forth.
Cannabis, both in marijuana and hash form, almost always has a colorful name attached to each individual strain. The best and most scientific minds in the business are constantly coming up with new strains that contain more THC or flower in different colors or taste like something else familiar, so the varieties to choose from can seem infinite. When you are in one of the Amsterdam coffee shops you can test several of them to find the one you like best, both in flavor and the type of high you get.
This situation is treated in the same way as one in which only a small quantity of cannabis is present, intended for personal consumption. If plants are discovered, the grower will be required to relinquish them and, in most cases, will not be prosecuted.
It is against the law to possess, sell, produce or deal in hard drugs at any time. If you are in possession of hard drugs, deal in or sell them or produce them, you may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment and/or the payment of a fine.
Growing cannabis or marijuana plants at home
It is a criminal offence in the Netherlands to possess, produce or deal in drugs. This applies to soft drugs as well as hard drugs. The use of drugs by persons aged 18 years or older is not a criminal offence in the Netherlands. But to prevent nuisance, municipal authorities may include a provision in their general municipal bye-laws prohibiting drug use in designated areas. If you use soft drugs in one of these designated areas, you may be arrested or ordered to pay a fine.
Possession of soft drugs is a criminal offence in the Netherlands, but in practice, small quantities for personal consumption are permitted (under the policy of toleration). If you are in possession of no more than 5 grams of cannabis (marijuana or hash) or no more than 5 cannabis plants, the police will seize the drugs and the plants and, as a rule, you will not be prosecuted. If you have more than 5 grams of cannabis or more than 5 cannabis plants in your possession, you will be prosecuted.
The policy of toleration does not apply to people under the age of 18. It is against the law for minors to purchase or possess soft drugs.