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 "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.
I'm not sure if I understand how this initiative is going to make Amsterdam more in line with their "image as a tolerant and crazy place." Is the Councilman talking about keeping the tolerant and crazy places limited to certain areas of the city? Or is he just giving lip service to the tolerant and crazy idea while his real agenda is something else?
Besides, I thought closing businesses like these is what generated crime. Isn't that how it works in America?
What do you think? I've never been to Amsterdam, what's it like first hand? Does legalizing things like prostitution and drug use take some of the pleasure away? Isn't part of the thrill the fact that it's clandestine?
Over on the Kickin' and Screamin' site there's a post entitled THE PRICE OF MORALS-FREE LIBERALISM. I guess his opinion is right there in the title.
What's your opinion? Is Amsterdam an example of failed liberalism? Or is something else going wrong over there? Prohibition against alcohol in America failed, does that mean that other prohibitions fail in the same way? Are they all manifestations of liberalism?
Please let us know what you think.