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Weeding Out Crime: Amsterdam Closing Many Pot Cafes!

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?


Join The Conversation
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Organic- I wish it would be legalized. I'm not sure if I made that clear. I just don't think it will, and could understand the rationale in not wanting it legalized. Jill- isn't it ironic you can say you agree with organics statement but yet you wouldn't agree with People that do dangerous "with guns" should be punished for the dangerous things they've done, not the "weapons" with which they did them? just a hunch.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
that makes sense, sometimes I dont want to get high and have sex, I just want a cuppa Joe.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
IMO, the problem with legalizing is that you have a bunch of dopes who don't know how to respect a good thing. The few bad apples who indulge to the point of abuse then their abuse begins to negatively peripherally effect those around them including job, school etc. The problem with criminalizing is that the majority of users who do respect a good thing get a bum deal. My advise is to have majority of responsible users keep the few bad apples in line that way the authorities don't have to be bothered. Will it ever happen, no.
janneth janneth 8 years
Those prostitutes sitting in the windows always gave Amsterdam a sleazy look. There are always so many sitting around posing, it kinda makes you wonder if their business is any good.
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 8 years
legalizing marijuana is a great way to control it and keep crime rates down, just like amsterdam is doing. the only people who benefit from weed being illegal are drug dealers. they keep the profits that the gov't could be using if they legalized it, regulated it, and taxed it.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I just heard today that a suburb here will no longer take people to jail if they have less than 8 ounces; instead they will issue tickets and fines to keep down court cost.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Can I just say, "Yeah!! I agree with Organic!" Doesn't happen very often, but I am happy when it does! ;)
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"People that do dangerous things under the influence of marijuana should be punished for the dangerous things they've done, not the substances under which they did them." Well said.
GKitty GKitty 8 years
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
People that do dangerous things under the influence of marijuana should be punished for the dangerous things they've done, not the substances under which they did them. That being said, the most dangerous thing I do is comment on citizensugar. However, I am with you on legalizing it so potheads will have nothing to talk about ever again. Grow up and do coke like an adult.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
i don't think it will ever be legalized here because they cannot test for the substance in the person at a specific time. So if a person is under the influence of marijuana and has an accident they cannot say for certain with proof that he was stoned at the time. it opens up a whole can of worms. And for the record, EVERY person that i know that smokes weed, does it ALL the time including when they are supposed to be responsible. Including in front of their children, at work, driving etc. I don't think legalizing will change this, but if people know that if they get popped positive on a drug test they are less likely to do such a thing at work. I wish they would legalize marijuana just so every would shut up about it already. But I fully understand why we shouldn't "legalize it"
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
GKitty is right. Tourists used it as if it was some sort of free for all, which it most clearly is not. The problems were really a product of drug/prostitution prohibition elsewhere And to echo Jillness, the beauty of such an open system is that they can alter the laws in order to preserve order and maintain choice.
KibzeeLovee KibzeeLovee 8 years
legalize it!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
I'm getting paranoid and giggly just looking at that photo.
GKitty GKitty 8 years
What worked in Amsterdam will continue to work. It's the tourists from other countries that ran "it" out of control, and made "freedom of choice" ugly.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
There is so much money wasted on prosecuting pot crimes (Upwards of $3 Billion in the US!). It is mainstream whether or not it is legal. Pot's illegality only makes it more profitable for people who sell and transport it. It is already easily available, since it can be grown in nearly every environment (it is a weed after all!). In Amsterdam, it isn't like everyone smokes up 24/7. It is frowned upon to be under the influence too often or in situations that require responsibility and productivity. I think it is good that they are trying to organized crime, though. Thankfully they have the ability to do that since it is legal.
krae85 krae85 8 years
good! I read about this already and think it'll be a good move for the city. I think, yes, of course there will always be people who are users but legalzing it makes it much more mainstream and more easily available which is not cool.
stephley stephley 8 years
Amsterdam seems better off than Mexico, so maybe they're doing things right - but the woman in this picture is a great advertisement for staying away.
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