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Dutch gov't scraps 'weed pass' for coffee shops

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[November 20, 2012]  THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- The new Dutch government is scrapping a planned "weed pass" designed to keep foreigners out of the nation's cannabis-selling coffee shops.

In the south of the country, beginning earlier this year, locals had to apply for a pass to get into such shops but non-Dutch residents were barred, in an effort to crack down on widespread drug tourism in the region.

But Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten said late Monday that the passes are being immediately scrapped. He said it will be up to local authorities to keep foreigners out of the famous drug cafes.

That step appears to be a compromise that leaves the door open to Amsterdam to keep letting tourists visit its world famous cafes, where cannabis, marijuana and pre-rolled joints are sold alongside cups of coffee.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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