Court backs bid to end pot tourism

A defiant protester lights up.
A defiant protester lights up. Photo: AP

A DUTCH court has upheld a new law that will prevent foreigners buying marijuana in coffee shops across the Netherlands, potentially ending decades of ''pot tourism''.

A group of coffee shops had challenged the government plan, launched after southern cities complained of increased drug-related crime. The decision means coffee shops in the south must stop selling marijuana to foreigners by May 1.

They would be allowed to introduce a so-called ''weed pass'' for Dutch citizens, who would be legally permitted to keep buying cannabis. The plan would roll out to other Dutch cities, including Amsterdam, by next year.

The move is being fiercely fought by the city of Amsterdam.

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