In the Netherlands and especially Amsterdam, the term coffeeshop has come to mean a place where hashish and marijuana are available. These coffeshops were not legal, but were tolerated. There are trade restrictions of maximally 5 gram per buyer, sales and consumption of hardcore drugs, e.g. heroin, are further forbidden.
In the year 2000 the Netherlands parliament with limited majority decided the complete release of hashish and marijuana. In the meantime approx. 1,500 existing coffeeshops were taken out of the legal gray area.