For years, for as long as I can remember, Amsterdam has been held up as the bastion of freedom…you can buy drugs and sex at stores there like you can buy purses and DVD’s. And we’ve been told that it’s good. We’ve been told we should legalize drugs and prostitution here in America, too. Afterall, it’s not hurting anyone.
Welllllll, they’re shuttin’ down some of those stores in Amsterdam. Gee, it seems like the city is being overrun by the criminal element. So they’re shutting businesses down, and dimming the famous the red light.
Amsterdam announced plans this weekend to close brothels, sex shops and pot cafes (marijuana is not legal in the Netherlands, the sale and use of which just ignored) as part of “a major effort to drive organized crime out of the tourist haven”. The city is going to focus its efforts on businesses that “generate criminality” which also include gambling parlors, peep shows, and massage parlors. (Quotes taken from an AP article, link to full story HERE).
They aren’t going to shut down these industries entirely. They will be limiting the prostitution to designated areas. Marijuana cafes will no longer be allowed near schools.
City officials want to bring hotels, restaurants, art galleries and boutiques to the city center and apparently these other “businesses” and the criminality which comes hand in hand with them don’t exactly create the right environment for these enterprises.
Perhaps we should take a page from the Netherlands playbook and reconsider what sort of things we in America want to embrace with legality and which things might be best left on the law books as illegal. Why do even more things which will need to be undone when the experiment fails just as it is failing in the freewheeling city of Amsterdam…