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Dutch ban foreigners from their dagga coffee shops Print

Dagga-selling coffee shop owners in Maastricht have announced a ban on most foreigners in an attempt to prove wrong the conservative Dutch government's plans to restrict access to their businesses

Anti-drugs laws were announced to place restrictions placed on who can use the shops, which allow patrons to buy and smoke drugs legally. Under legislation spearheaded by far-right politicians, only Dutch residents will be able to enter the cannabis-selling premises.

By the end of the year, would-be customers will have to sign up for a one-year membership, or ?dope pass?, to the coffee shops. Each shop will be allowed a maximum of 1,500 members.

The country decriminalised ?soft? drugs in the Seventies, and has around 750 coffee shops. About 220 are in Amsterdam ? mostly in the city?s red light district, where prostitution is also legal.

There are hundreds of coffee shops in Amsterdam where it is legal for people to use dagga.

Coffee shops, were seen as a useful weapon in controlling the use of drugs. It allowed people to walk in off the street and order their favourite brand of dagga rather than giving money to a potentially flourishing black market. Up to a million British tourists visit Amsterdam each year, many of them drawn by the appeal of the coffee shops.

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