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Dutch cities begin crackdown on marijuana cafes

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Dutch Coffee shops

A bummer of a news item for potheads came out of The Netherlands today: the country's justice minister, in cooperation with five southern Dutch cities, say they will implement new restrictions on coffeehouses, or "marijuana cafes", following a wave of drug-related gang violence.

They said Friday that planned measures include shuttering many cafes, using tax and accounting laws to seize criminal assets, and introducing a "members only" pass system for remaining cafes, an idea the Dutch government had previously considered in order to make it more difficult for tourists to buy marijuana.

Last week, a home in Eindhoven was hit with machine gun fire, and the mayor of Helmond went into hiding due to death threats. According to police, both matters are drug-related.

Personally, I don't think the government's mellow-harshing gambit is going to curb gang violence anytime soon. If anything, maybe the justice minister should have a "weed summit" with gangbangers at The Hague, and "hash" out these silly differences. (I couldn't resist.)