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Ecstasy store in the Netherlands opens its doors 

UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS – Imagine: the government regulates ecstasy. What does the sale look like then? Should you be able to buy pills everywhere? Or only on a doctor's prescription? In the xtc-shop, the new public experiment of Drugs Museum Poppi, visitors decide for themselves.  

In the shop, visitors can test three different ecstasy outlets: an ecstasy specialty store, a club and a pharmacy. The visitors themselves determine the rules. Should an age limit be set? And how many pills can you buy? And what about the marketing? Will you soon see advertisements about ecstasy in the public space? Visitor’s preferences are analysed by Utrecht University and shared with national and local politicians.

Vision of the future
A world where you can buy ecstasy out in the open: an unrealistic vision of the future? Fifty percent of Dutch people up to the age of 54 are in favour of a more realistic policy for the production and sale of ecstasy. Among young people under 34 this is 6 out of 10. This became apparent in a survey* by Ipsos among 1033 respondents.  

Science also sees benefits: in 2020 a think tank of eighteen scientists showed that regulated production and sale of ecstasy is the best policy option for the environment, public order and health. Another think tank ‘DenkWerk’ released a report in June 2022 that showed that regulating ecstasy is the best option to combat drug-related crime. In addition, national politicians recently set up a state committee to investigate the pros and cons of medicinal use of MDMA.

For these reasons, Poppi Drugs Museum built the ecstasy shop in collaboration with Vincent Schoutsen and Corne van der Stelt. Machteld Busz, director at Poppi and Mainline Foundation: “With the ecstasy shop, Poppi is investigating: what could regulated ecstasy sales look like? To show politicians: look this is possible and this is how the Netherlands wants it.”

The xtc-shop is open between 15 July and 29 September 2022 at Vinkenburgstraat 1-3 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Find out more: www.poppi.nl.  

*These results are based on an online survey by Ipsos among a representative sample of 1033 Dutch people aged 18 years and older. Differences between the composition of the sample and the composition of the Dutch population aged 18 years and older in terms of age, gender, education and region have been corrected by means of a weighting. The data was collected from 27 to 30 May 2022. 

The xtc-shop in Utrecht
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