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Marijuana Cafes Crackdown To Start In Netherlands

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AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands' justice minister and five southern Dutch cities say they will implement new restrictions on marijuana cafes after a wave of drug-related gangland violence.

They said Friday the measures include shutting down many cafes, using tax and accounting laws to seize criminal assets, and introducing a "members only" pass system for remaining cafes.

The government has previously floated the idea of a nationwide pass system that would make it difficult for tourists to buy marijuana, despite the country's famed tolerance policy, which allows sale and possession of small amounts of weed.

Last week, a home in Eindhoven was hit with machine gun fire and the mayor of Helmond went into hiding because of death threats. Police say both matters are drug-related.

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