Tourists may be banned from cannabis

DUTCH lawmakers are considering new legislation that would ban foreign travellers from buying cannabis in cafes.

New laws would see the world-famous “coffee shops” – which lawfully sell small amounts of cannabis to customers – turned into private clubs open only to locals.

Only those with a “wietpassen,” or “weed pass,” would be allowed to purchase the drugs and those with foreign passports would be barred from entry.

The owners of the coffee shops were fighting the bill, which they said would cost millions of tourist dollars.

“If this law comes into effect, we will lose money and jobs,” said Marc Josemans, owner of the Easy Going cafe.

Last year, 1.4 million “drugs tourists” visited the city of Maastricht alone. Foreigners accounted for 70 percent or sales, worth about £8.5 million ($13.6 million).

But lawmaker said the drugs tourists attract criminals. Joep Delsing, spokesman for the mayor of Maastricht, said: “They block streets in the city center, they don’t respect parking rules, they are noisy and, when they go from one coffee shop to another, they urinate and vomit in the street.”

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