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In The Netherlands, drugs are divided into two categories: hard drugs and soft drugs. This difference is elemental for the Dutch drug policy.

Soft drugs are the 'not-so-dangerous' drugs like hemp derivatives (weed and hash) and some things like magic mushrooms, the use of which is condoned by the government, as well as the trade and production (in small quantities).
Hard drugs are the drugs that are highly addictive and/or bad for your health,like cocaine and heroin. These are, even in The Netherlands, illegal.

There is always much debate when a new drug arrives whether it's a hard or a soft drug. The categorization of a drug may change when new information about the drug becomes available. Which category the drug ends up in is also dependant of the opinion of other countries: what is highly illegal elsewhere will probably not become known as a soft drug in The Netherlands.

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