The Associated Press 5/2/01 4:47 AM VENLO, Netherlands (AP) -- Dutch authorities plan to open two drive-thru shops next year where "drug tourists" can buy marijuana and hashish. The officials in Venlo say they want to make it easier on Germans who flock to the southern Dutch border town for drugs by opening two coffee shops with drive-thrus selling drugs such as marijuana and hashish. They also want to keep the "drug tourists" from lingering in the Netherlands, where so-called soft drugs are legally sold in small quantities. Drug tourists draw street dealers selling illicit harder drugs, creating "an environment that generally makes ordinary people feel unsafe," said Venlo spokeswoman Tamira Hankman. Hankman couldn't say exactly what the shops will offer, but she said they would not be like Amsterdam cafes where visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee and a joint, but no hard drugs or liquor. "The new coffee shops need to be outside the city and they need to be easily accessible," Hankman said. "Our city center has been flooded with these tourists and the plan is part of an offensive to make it safer." Officials are working on the final details of the proposal. If the City Council approves the idea, the drive-thru shops are expected to open next year after consultations with German municipal officials, Hankman said. Marijuana and hashish are technically illegal in the Netherlands, but authorities tolerate their use and they are openly sold in small amounts. The distribution of marijuana in bulk and its cultivation are considered serious offenses. Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.