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View Full Version : Amsterdam to close many brothels, marijuana cafes



FlaGator
12-08-2008, 09:04 AM
One more talking point removed from libs. The drug legalization crowd is always holding up Amsterdam as the jewel in the argument that due to the success of Amsterdam's management of drugs and prostitution it should be legal here. After reading this article it doesn't seem to be all that successful and those that predict that it will attract organized crime seem to have come true.


AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - Amsterdam unveiled plans Saturday to close brothels, sex shops and marijuana cafes in its ancient city center as part of a major effort to drive organized crime out of the tourist haven.

The city is targeting businesses that "generate criminality," including gambling parlors, and the so-called "coffee shops" where marijuana is sold openly. Also targeted are peep shows, massage parlors and souvenir shops used by drug dealers for money-laundering.

"I think that the new reality will be more in line with our image as a tolerant and crazy place, rather than a free zone for criminals" said Lodewijk Asscher, a city council member and one of the main proponents of the plan.

The news comes just one day after Amsterdam's mayor said he would search for loopholes in new rules laid down by the national government that would close marijuana cafes near schools citywide. The measures announced Saturday would affect about 36 coffee shops in the center itself - a little less than 20 percent of the city total.



The rest is here (http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081206/D94T8T200.html)

wilbur
12-08-2008, 01:47 PM
One more talking point removed from libs.

Libertarians you mean? ;)



The drug legalization crowd is always holding up Amsterdam as the jewel in the argument that due to the success of Amsterdam's management of drugs and prostitution it should be legal here. After reading this article it doesn't seem to be all that successful and those that predict that it will attract organized crime seem to have come true.


Well there is still a light, but real prohibition there. That policy on drugs has been largely the same since 1976, and yet they do not have any extraordinary crime problems that we do not have here. Nor do they have out of control drug use.... we stack up to them on just about every measure. Despite the reputation as a modern day Gomorrah, it really isnt as progressive there as many think... and certainly not to the satisfaction of libertarians who would go for full legalization of all recreational drugs.

So basically, they get a very similar result as us but without the spinning of the wheels and the waste of money, manpower and other resources. All that while keeping many more civil liberties intact.... sounds like a good deal to me, but we should do it right. None of this decriminalization stuff.

I don't see anything in that article really detailing any extra ordinary organized crime problem (I'd like to see more information on that) I just see the government trying to revitalize a part of town... much like what happens here in the US when residents or governments get it in their heads to force the porn shops and strip clubs to the outskirts of town.

FlaGator
12-08-2008, 08:11 PM
Libertarians you mean? ;)



Well there is still a light, but real prohibition there. That policy on drugs has been largely the same since 1976, and yet they do not have any extraordinary crime problems that we do not have here. Nor do they have out of control drug use.... we stack up to them on just about every measure. Despite the reputation as a modern day Gomorrah, it really isnt as progressive there as many think... and certainly not to the satisfaction of libertarians who would go for full legalization of all recreational drugs.

So basically, they get a very similar result as us but without the spinning of the wheels and the waste of money, manpower and other resources. All that while keeping many more civil liberties intact.... sounds like a good deal to me, but we should do it right. None of this decriminalization stuff.

I don't see anything in that article really detailing any extra ordinary organized crime problem (I'd like to see more information on that) I just see the government trying to revitalize a part of town... much like what happens here in the US when residents or governments get it in their heads to force the porn shops and strip clubs to the outskirts of town.

If drugs and brothels are such a positive thing then why would revitalizing those areas involve removing the drug houses and brothels in the first place? Better yet, why would they need revitalizing at all?

Oh this little diddy is interesting


Drug Smuggling Flourishing In Amsterdam - No More Prison Cells
It is thought that about 25.000 drug smugglers pass through Amsterdam's airport every year. Only more than 1.000 got arrested last year, some of them were let go because officials were overworked and there was no space in prison available for them.

The country's politicians have been criticised for not taking proper measures against these criminals. Now they want to build a new prison, improve scanning equipment and the customs got extra staff.

The Minister hopes that the new measures will help his popularity.

In the Netherlands cannabis is legal. Smuggling hard drugs carries a maximum sentence of 12 years in jail.

Source: news.bbc.co.uk


http://www.shortnews.com/start.cfm?id=16118

wilbur
12-08-2008, 08:40 PM
If drugs and brothels are such a positive thing then why would revitalizing those areas involve removing the drug houses and brothels in the first place? Better yet, why would they need revitalizing at all?


They arent really a positive thing. Drugs, and sex for money are regularly consumed THE SAME or MORE here in this country, despite our laws and culture, and despite the sacrifices we have had to make in order to "fight" them, in the way that we do. No one is claiming that prostitution and drugs are just what society needs to cure its ills. We simply have to adjust how we manage and minimize the problem and damage. Legalization, with regulation is the clear choice... if for no other reason that we have tried everything else.

The drug war is like commissioning a tank to fight your termite problem.

FlaGator
12-09-2008, 08:24 PM
They arent really a positive thing. Drugs, and sex for money are regularly consumed THE SAME or MORE here in this country, despite our laws and culture, and despite the sacrifices we have had to make in order to "fight" them, in the way that we do. No one is claiming that prostitution and drugs are just what society needs to cure its ills. We simply have to adjust how we manage and minimize the problem and damage. Legalization, with regulation is the clear choice... if for no other reason that we have tried everything else.

The drug war is like commissioning a tank to fight your termite problem.

So you feel it is best to find a way to co-exist with negative aspects of society as opposed to standing against them even though the task is hopeless?

wilbur
12-09-2008, 09:02 PM
So you feel it is best to find a way to co-exist with negative aspects of society as opposed to standing against them even though the task is hopeless?

It does seem intuitive, initially, that the best way to fight some problems is to 'crack down' with law enforcement, and create stricter laws. For some problems (homicide) for example.. this approach can work. For other issues, (drugs) this doesn't seem to work very well (at all, actually). With the drug issue in particular, the efforts to reduce or stop the problem have done next to nothing to accomplish their intended aims, and in some ways perpetuate the very problems they are designed to solve. Not to mention all the measures needed to crack down and enforce the laws have come with a high price of their own.

By "fighting" such problems with even stricter laws and tougher enforcement, you actually feed the problem. We've all heard the saying "Fight smarter, not harder"... legalization is 'fighting smarter'... not acquiescing or giving up, as many status quo supporters like to say.

Continued drug policies as they are have so many awful unintended consequences that the cure, if you can call it that, is worse than the disease... especially since the 'cure' hasnt actually cured much of anything. For all our expenditures, we can rightly say we've kept our drug problem under control about as well countries like NL where most are practically legal. I dont' suspect that legalization will suddenly or possibly ever really reduce the drug problem... but it will free us of many of the disastrous unintended consequences. If you are very sick, and you doctor offers you medication that won't actually do anything to improve your condition, and comes with side effects that will make you violently ill.... you would be wise not to swallow that pill;) We should get something in return for the side effects we experience in the war on drugs... we don't.

The CATO institute has many excellent papers on the topic if you want to explore that point of view more.

http://www.cato.org/subtopic_display_new.php?topic_id=10&ra_id=9
http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=1040

All that being said, I do think there also needs to be more open discussion on the morality of government and its role on restricting these types of personal habits. It can certainly be immoral to ask government to enforce many morally right issues, even ones you strongly believe are some of the worst evils in society. Many times, this is simply because in order to enforce the new laws, the government would have to be entrusted with an immoral amount of power that poses a greater danger to us than the original problem. Such is the case with drugs.

I largely ignore prostitution here, because even though they (drugs and prostitution) are often argued for and against together.. that they don't necessarily share the same solutions or characteristics. And I simply don't know enough about it... That was CW's job;P

PoliCon
12-09-2008, 09:45 PM
So you feel it is best to find a way to co-exist with negative aspects of society as opposed to standing against them even though the task is hopeless?FlaGator you are waisting your time. He's a moral relativist.

wilbur
12-09-2008, 09:50 PM
FlaGator you are waisting your time. He's a moral relativist.

Your hopelessly befuddled and confused brain has led you astray again. Not even close to a moral relativist. Here's a clue.... a relativist would never say:

"It can certainly be immoral to ask government to enforce many morally right issues, even ones you strongly believe are some of the worst evils in society. Many times, this is simply because in order to enforce the new laws, the government would have to be entrusted with an immoral amount of power that poses a greater danger to us than the original problem. Such is the case with drugs."