28 Apr 2012

Ban on foreigners in cannabis cafes upheld

8:43 am on 28 April 2012

A judge in the Netherlands has upheld a new law banning foreign tourists from cannabis cafes.

While soft drugs are tolerated in the country, concern is growing about tourists visiting just for drugs.

The ban is due to start in three southern provinces next month, and go nationwide by the end of the year.

In October strong cannabis was reclassified as a hard drug.

A group of cafe owners argued at a district court in The Hague that the ban was discriminatory against foreigners.

Under the new law, Dutch residents will be allowed into the cafes, as long as they have valid identification, or possibly hold a new 'weed pass', which is also being debated.

There are about 700 'coffee shops' as they are called in the Netherlands.