Government officials said closing the coffee shops to tourists would reduce drug-related tourism, DutchNews.nl reported Saturday. The Amsterdam City Council opposes the plan.
"We are concerned about the problems that arise from large-scale street dealing," said a spokesman for Councilman Eberhard van der Laan. "There are also health concerns, because with street dealing we cannot monitor the quality of the soft drugs or the age of the buyers."
Under the proposal, soft-drug users who can prove their residency, will be issued membership cards to the coffee shops. Members must be 18.
Netherlands 500 or so coffee shops are permitted to stock about 15 ounces of marijuana and individual users can possess small amounts of up to 5 grams for personal use. There are 28 grams in an ounce.
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