Amsterdam Coffee Shops to Stay Open for Tourists

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Amsterdam's mayor says tourists will be able to keep buying cannabis in the capital's coffee shops even if they're not Dutch residents. Speaking to Dutch daily de Volkskrant, Eberhard van der Laan said this would be possible under the policies set out in the new coalition agreement.

The previous government had introduced legislation limiting the sale of cannabis to Dutch residents who had registered with their local coffee shop for a "weed pass". The system was introduced in a number of southern provinces earlier this year and was due to take effect in the rest of the Netherlands at the beginning of 2013. Van der Laan and the mayors of other large cities have always been opposed to the system, saying it would lead to a surge in street dealing.

"More street crime"

An estimated 7 million tourists visit Amsterdam every year and 1.5 million of them visit a coffee shop during their stay. According to the capital's mayor, "Those one and a half million people aren't just going to just say,
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Producer : Radio Netherlands