AMSTERDAM -- The Dutch government said on Wednesday it wanted to ban tourists from buying cannabis in "coffee shops," where hash is on sale legally, as part of a national crackdown on drug use.


The Netherlands has one of Europe's most liberal soft drug policies and its coffee shops are a popular tourist attraction, especially in Amsterdam and border cities near Belgium and Germany.

But some cities near the border with Belgium have clamped down on drug tourism, and the Dutch minister for security and justice confirmed Wednesday a wider crackdown after coalition parties agreed to push for a ban in September.

The government, which took office last month, has agreed to limit the sale of cannabis to Dutch residents to curb crime linked to its production and trading.

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