Plan to close marijuana cafes

2008-11-21 14:02
Amsterdam - Authorities in Amsterdam say they plan to close nearly one-fifth of the city's famous marijuana cafes because they are located too close to schools.

The city says it wants to close 43 cafes but at the same time has urged the government to regulate and tolerate the growers that supply the ones that remain.

Marijuana is technically illegal in the Netherlands but possession of small amounts is tolerated and it is sold openly at designated cafes. However, growers and distributors are routinely arrested and prosecuted.

Representatives of cities around the Netherlands are meeting in the northern city of Almere on Friday and are expected to endorse Amsterdam's position.

The Dutch government says the plan would amount to outright legalisation and has rejected it.

- AP
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