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Netherlands judge upholds new law to ban foreigners from entering cannabis cafes

Amsterdam , Sat, 28 Apr 2012 ANI

Amsterdam, Apr 28 (ANI): A judge in the Netherlands has supported a new law that bans foreign tourists from entering cannabis cafes in the city.

The ruling has been panned by protesters in Amsterdam, who smoked marijuana joints as they campaigned against the proposed ban.

The ban, which is due to start in three southern provinces next month, to be followed nationwide by the end of the year, is because of the growing concern that tourists are visiting the country just for drugs, and fuelling the trade.

Under the new law, Dutch residents will still be allowed into the cafes, as long as they have valid identification, or possibly hold a new "weed pass", which is also being debated.urrently, there are about 700 coffee shops in the Netherlands, who are reportedly selling cannabis as a drug.

"It is going to cost me 90% of my turnover. That is a very good reason for anyone to oppose any plan. Second it puts our customers in a very difficult spot, because why do you have to register to buy a substance that is still illegal?" the BBC quoted Michael Veling, Spokesman for the Dutch Cannabis Retailers Association, as saying.

In October strong cannabis was reclassified as a hard drug, amid concerns that it has a psychotic effect on some users. The ban forced cannabis coffee shops to remove the more popular stronger varieties from their shelves. (ANI)

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