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High Times at the Amsterdam Cannabis Cup

High Times at the Amsterdam Cannabis Cup
Lola San Francisco

“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.” – Hunter S. Thompson

Each November, the city of Amsterdam in conjunction with drug magazine High Times, holds its annual Cannabis Cup Convention when 10,000 pot-smoking enthusiasts converge to partake in this serious smoking festival/convention.

A couple of friends and I judged The Cannabis Cup in 2002 and barely made it out of the Netherlands without an iron lung. In the months leading up to The Cup, we swore there was no amount of weed too good or any amount we couldn’t handle. We even spent the weeks before boosting up our tolerances with expensive smoke-outs. We strutted around telling everyone how flippin’ awesome were. The dew was about to be smoked right off of us.

Pass the Cannabis Cup Pass
In order to become an “Official Cannabis Cup Judge,” you actually have to purchase the passes in advance (see below to get one). You then automatically become a hot sh*t judge who in turn can turn up your nose to small children when they call you uncool.

With your laminated pass in hand, or like some dorks, around your neck, you HAVE TO visit 27 different “Coffee Shops” that each sponsors their own entry of Pot and Hash. For those not in the know of this incredible tidbit, a coffee shop in Amsterdam is an establishment that sells pot, pot products and hash to its patrons. Yes, it’s legal there!

You then judge each one by filling in reviews in a little book that is turned in at the end of the week for tallying up for the big awards presentation. As in the OLYMPICS, there are categories such as Best Coffee Shop and the Best in Hash to name just a few.

With this pass you get: a smokin’ hot driver in a mini van that picks up the judges at designated locations around the city and takes them to the next place. Tipping is greatly appreciated in the form of a joint or bit of hash. I was rebuffed on my offer of a lap dance, but then what was I thinking? Stoned men have little motivation. You’re also VIP’ed in a big way, with each of the Coffee Shops handing out all sorts of paraphernalia and shwag.

“… a coffee shop in Amsterdam is an establishment that sells pot, pot products and hash to its patrons. Yes, it’s legal there!…”

Each night The Cup hosts a private party at the Melkweg nightclub and throws the judges one hell of a good time. During the day, entrance to the Expo center features: grow seminars, exclusive judges lounge, cannabis related product vendors, counter culture guest speakers and giveaways. But the biggie is the coveted Cannabis Cup T- Shirt. (Yeah that’s right, the Cannabis Cup T-shirt).

Typical Day of Judging at Amsterdam’s Cannabis Cup

6:00am: I would wake up at 6am and test the weed I couldn’t smoke from the last Coffee Shop the night before. Then fall back asleep.

9:00am: Wake up, eat breakfast and try very hard to shake my friends awake.

10:00am: Head out to my first place of the day. Order a cup of coffee, $5.00 worth of weed had been entered in the Cup, bust out my Judge’s Book and critique it. Such as: taste, smell, look, is it being high or is it like being stoned. Somewhere along this time a friend would show up and tag along to the next place. Not one of them knew how to roll a joint by the way! I rolled all the goddamn joints. Stupid stoners.

10:30am 11:00am: At this point I am high. I am the map person. My friends have now all shown up, and are too stoned to be map person. Get lost.

12:00pm 5:00pm: Judge 3 more cafes. Think highly about switching to hash as the coughing starts around 2:00pm. Make way for the munchies, as I eat my way from one place to the next.

5:00pm 7:00pm: Nap. Praise the lord. Ask your friends to nap too, just to shut them up from talking about: talking about talking about. Stoners.

8:00pm 12:00am: Go to one more cafe and have a beer before showing up at the Cup for some late night scheduled party. The conversation is always about how I cannot believe I have smoked this much weed. Reply: smoke hash.

Sometime in the wee hours of the morning I just know I’m in my hotel bed, how I got there is not a concern of mine.

Cannabis Cup Conclusion

I was the only one who finished all 27 cafes, voted, and finished the whole event. By the 2nd day my pals had quit. I was map person, rolled every single joint and planned out the course of action. Stoners.

View Comments (14)


  1. Avatar


    September 1, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Mate you’re brilliant hahahha! Send me ur email I’d like to add you on facebook. I think we’d get on we’ll.

  2. Avatar


    September 7, 2009 at 4:04 am

    Hey man, watsup? Me and my friends would like to do the same things were do we go in order to sign up to be a judge?

  3. Avatar


    October 3, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I and a few of my friends would love get over there for judging!! Hit me up when you get the chance!

  4. Avatar


    October 19, 2009 at 5:37 am

    You’re sick man! I wanna do that! Tell me were to go sign up as a judge. You rock!

  5. Avatar


    November 1, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Wow! I can’t wait until I go to the cup. I leave on the 15th of November and come back to the states the 6th of Dec. I’m Guna be so Highhhhhhhhh!!!

  6. Avatar


    January 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    fair play this swnds AWSOME 😀

  7. Avatar


    February 3, 2010 at 6:38 am

    how much are the passes and where do i buy them i want to be a judge asap

  8. Avatar


    February 3, 2010 at 10:48 am

    let me know where i can buy the passes

  9. Avatar


    February 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    do you have to pay for any of the weed you have to judge ?
    or is it all free i need to know .
    the high times says you dont

  10. Avatar

    kieran may

    February 19, 2010 at 9:37 am

    i was in amsterdam for the first time 2 week ago and i wud luv to learn how to become a judge at the cannabis cup becuz i am like the biggest pothead ever and i like to have a choice of weeds to chong 😀

  11. Avatar


    March 31, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    250 euros is a lot to pay and still have to foot slogit dont you think ..??
    ow sry and the odd expo and an end party pass Big Deal …sounds pants
    high times make out on ther vids that ther some big room with free weed
    to test in a lot of ther vids o u tube but they lie and thats bad .
    high times can suck one out of my you know what ?? 2 god dam 50

  12. Avatar


    April 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    how do i become a judge

  13. Avatar


    April 15, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    well if you wont to go as a judge you need at least £900-£1000+air fare
    ticket if you get from u.s.a $199.00 or 250 euros for expo an party pass.?
    and a taxi… nar i was going to go this year had it planed to a tee .
    and then i niped over asked around a bit and found out ..what you get
    a set of day pass for expo and a pass for the end party and a taxi ..
    well BLOW ME down ;( im deeee presssssssedd ass foooooook
    but on the other hand its saved me £1000. i was going to Blow HA HA

  14. Avatar


    April 23, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Amsterdam is the coolest place to go i was there in the year of 1999 and it was awesome the different kinds of weed and hash it was all cool the different coffee shops all the strip clubs it was cool you must go there really buy a ticket and never come back and i am being serious
    peace out 420