Foreign tourist cannabis ban begins in Netherlands


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The Independent Online

A ban on foreign tourists buying marijuana came into effect in parts of the Netherlands today, with a protest planned in the southern city of Maastricht.

Cannabis is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but it is sold openly in small amounts in designated cafes under the country's famed tolerance policy.

The government has said that, as of today, only holders of a “weed pass” will be allowed to purchase the drug, and non-residents are not eligible.

The policy does not take effect in Amsterdam until next year, and may never do so. The city opposes the idea and the conservative national government collapsed last week.

Shop owners in Maastricht will disobey the policy, and foreign buyers plan a protest there later today.