Threat to Amsterdam pot cafes lifted

Last updated 12:21 31/10/2012

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The incoming Dutch government has ditched plans for a national "weed pass" that would have been available only to residents and that would have effectively banned tourists from Amsterdam's marijuana cafes.

However, under a provisional governing pact unveiled this week, cities can bar foreigners from weed shops if they choose.

The pact says that it wants only Dutch residents to have access to marijuana cafes, but leaves enforcement up to cities. Amsterdam opposes a ban, which would hurt tourism.

Some cafe owners said they were satisfied Dutch weed policy would remain unchanged, while others criticised the lack of clarity.

Marijuana trafficking is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but people can't be prosecuted for possession of small amounts and the drug is sold openly in designated "coffee shops."

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- AP

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