Amsterdam wants to be known for its tolerant spirit, not as a haven for organized criminals. Thus, the city has plans to close troublesome brothels, sex shops, and marijuana cafes, while also spending millions to build cultural attractions like art galleries and restaurants.
One city council member explains that:
"[Amsterdam] will be a place with 200 windows (for prostitutes) and 30 coffee shops, which you can't find anywhere else in the world — very exciting, but also with cultural attractions. And you won't have to be embarrassed to say you came."
Perhaps the new plan to shut down some pot cafes shows the wisdom of decriminalization, not the folly of it. Officials can step in and shut down the shops that cause problems, without pushing everyone that uses marijuana into a criminal network.
Do you think criminalization or legalization is the best way to deal with drug related crime?