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7. Fantasio

Prins Hendrikkade 142

Club Fantasio opened here on March 29th, 1968, one day before the Paradiso youth center. Paradiso was established in a church, Fantasio replaced a youth / community centre. From the beginning, both places were associated with the protest and hippie movements. Fantasio organized pop concerts and performances; Pink Floyd performed there.

As a symbol of resistance, the use and small-scale trade of (then mainly) hashish was tolerated by the clubs. Coffeeshops as we know them did not yet exist. It was not until 1976 that Prime Minister Dries van Agt amended the Opium Act, creating safe places where people could buy soft drugs under regulated conditions.

Amsterdam politicians were not enthusiastic. They wanted to limit soft drug use, ‘[…] not only to protect the young people who are already corrupted at this point, but also young people who, out of curiosity, will try experiments tomorrow or the day after tomorrow with regard to the use of “drugs”.

Fantasio and Paradiso were important pioneers: many other youth centers in the Netherlands adopted the same attitude. Joint by joint, the foundations of the Dutch tolerance policy were laid.


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