Coffee shops in a Dutch town on the border with Belgium will voluntarily ban foreigners from buying legal marijuana in an effort to discourage petty crime, traffic gridlocks and illegal drug dealing.
The city of Maastricht, 130 miles south of Amsterdam, had tried to ban sales of marijuana but was rebuffed earlier this year by the Netherland's top legal body, the Council of State, which said the city couldn't regulate sales. The new effort skirts the ruling by inviting coffee shops that sell drugs to voluntarily participate in the prohibition.
The city says the legal drug trade is spilling into the streets and drawing unsavory dealers in illegal substances. In Amsterdam, the city is taking the opposite approach, saying any ban on tourists in drug-friendly cafes will have a negative effect on tourism.
In a nod to neighbors, Maastricht will allow Belgians and Germans to frequent the coffee shops even though they're technically foreign tourists. According to the BBC, "most" of the 6,000 daily visitors to the city's shops are from Belgium and Germany.
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