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Dutch cannabis curb backed by court

Plans to introduce a "weed pass" to prevent foreigners from buying marijuana in coffee shops in the Netherlands, have been upheld by a judge.

A lawyer for coffee shop owners says he will file an urgent appeal against today's ruling by a judge at The Hague District court.

The ruling clears the way for the introduction of the pass in southern provinces on May 1.

The pass will roll out in the rest of the country next year.

In a written ruling, the court agreed with government lawyer Eric Daalder that the fight against criminality linked to the drug trade justified the measure.

Amsterdam, whose scores of coffee shops are a major tourism drawcard, opposes the plan, and mayor Eberhard van der Laan says he wants to hammer out a compromise.

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