I’ve seen on “Attack of the Show” today that Amsterdam, as of last Saturday, is officially starting a plan to close down some cafes and brothels over a 10 year period. In order to clean the image of Amsterdam up a little bit, they want to move the weed cafes and brothels to city centers. This is nice in a moral perspective, except tourism is a huge part of Amsterdam and the cafes and brothels were THE ONLY REASONS PEOPLE EVEN WANTED TO GO OVER THERE!
That and Japan were the two countries I’d have liked to visit. Yes, for the cafes and…..well, for the sake of prudence, I won’t speak on the other asset, although I’m sure you can draw somewhat accurate conclusions (I’m a terrible bastard, I know).
As I’ve said, the image that Amsterdam has now is what was bringing in the tourist money. The things that have city planner Lodewijk Asscher worried is that these places also attract many members of organized crime and are near schools. In 10 years time, they better develop something that will replace the cafes and brothels in terms of income. Perhaps they could somehow get their hands on top cars designers and start exporting. Or have a few programmers and developers start a software company over there, particularly in video games (that industry hasn’t been touched at all through the last 6-7 years. As a matter of fact, it’s flourishing now more than ever). Perhaps lower the taxes and build a few soundstage studios so that big budget film directors can pay to make their blockbusters there more often. I don’t know.
I didn’t even realize Organized Crime was really a problem like that in Amsterdam. You never really hear about it being so. As far as the marijuana goes, the guy on T.V. said that marijuana prohibition is quite the problem causer. It’s expensive and it victimizes responsible adults. I don’t know about the victimizing adults thing, but I can’t say I’ve heard or remember any terrible things happening as a result of smoking weed, aside from laziness and loss of purpose. Nothing a smack in the face and a boot out the house until you’ve come back hired somewhere can’t fix. He says introducing marijuana as a taxed, regulated and controlled substance commodity would be the way to go. I guess. I don’t see what’s wrong with this, although he’d have to bring up cold, hard scientific evidence against those who solely believe it’s a gateway drug.