NETHERLANDS

Tourists Banned From Marijuana Bars?

Amsterdam's famous marijuana bars may get more exclusive after a European court ruled that the Dutch city of Maastricht was within its rights during a temporary ban on tourists in its soft-drug dens in 2005. The ban was designed to combat so-called drug tourism from nearby Belgium and Germany after the visitors became infamous for creating rowdy scenes on roadways and in the city's medieval lanes. And now, cities like Amsterdam would be within their rights to follow suit. Marijuana is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but has been sold openly for years in designated stores known as "coffee shops." The new conservative government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte wants to turn the marijuana bars into places where locals can smoke pot in peace.