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Dutch pot cafes take heat

The CBC Radio's trailbreakers series will pre-empt the Dispatches Thursday Radio One broadcast Jan 12-Feb 2. Podcasts and web editions (cbc.ca/dispatches) of the show will still be available, as usual, around midday on Thursdays.The Sunday-evening Radio One broadcast, Sirius, U.S. and other broadcasters will not be affefcted.


A tourist smokes marijuana at a "coffee shop" called de Dampkring (Atmosphere) in the center of Amsterdam. The Dutch government plans to introduce a system that would allow only card-holding members to buy the drug -- which could block foreign tourists from buying the drug at famed marijuana cafes (a.k.a. coffee shops). (AP Photo/Peter Dejong,)

Europe is a cafe society.  From Islington to Istanbul, leisure comes one cup at a time in the neighbourhood coffee house. 

In The Netherlands though, it can also be taken a toke at a time.

To the delighted astonishment of some North Americans, the sale of marijuana and hashish in select cafes has been public policy for years.

The trails of giggling tourists strewn like blissful breadcrumbs along the canals of Amsterdam inevitably lead back to one of them. 

Now there are plans afoot to restrict where and who can fire up a phatty.

Melanie Sevcenko visits one smokers' haven. 

 Melanie's documentary

The January 5 Dispatches program  

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