Amsterdam had been planning on closing some coffee shops and brothels in the past, but no one took them seriously. Today, Amsterdam officials declared that they were going to start closing down many brothels, sex shops and marijuana cafes in it’s ancient city center in an effort to reduce organized crime. City officials believe that investing in the city, and limiting its cafes, sex shops, and brothels will be a needed reformation.
It was only yesterday when Amsterdam’s mayor stated that he would search for “loopholes” in the new rules that were laid down by the national government that would close marijuana cafes near schools citywide. Today’s plans would affect around 36 coffee shops in the center alone, a little less than 20 percent of the city total.
Amsterdam is going to start targeting business that “generate criminality.” Coffee Shops, where one can openly purchase marijuana have been under scrutiny since some have been supplying tourists with large doses of marijuana that have found their way across country lines. Gambling parlors, peep shows, message parlors, and souvenir shops are also being investigated due to suspicion of money laundering by drug dealers.
Under today’s plan, Amsterdam will spend €30 million to €40 million ($38 million to $51 million) to build underground parking areas and bring restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and hotels to it’s center.
So what can we expect to see in place of all the goodies that used to be there? Well, according to Lodewijk Asscher, a city council member and one of the main proponents of the plan, “It’ll 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.”
Amsterdam officials have already devised a sneaky plan to eliminate suspect businesses. They’re going to use their method that worked in the past, shutting down brothels and sexclubs by relying on a low that allows the closure of businesses with bookkeeping irregularities. The oldest trick in the book used by governments, also knows as the “fall back plan” – The logic: “If we can’t catch them in the act, check their books. (Think Capone)”
After closing down suspect businesses, the city plans on buying out non-suspect business and offering assistance to upgrade stores by using zoning rules in an effort to reshape the area.
Prostitution will undergo a slight change and will now only be allowed in two areas in the district. The most famous of the two, De Wallen (“The Walls”), is a web of streets and alleys that surround the city’s medieval retaining dam wall. Dem Wallen has been the center of prostitution since Amsterdam’s glorious shipping age in the 1600’s…This place LIVES prostitution.
Tolerance Policy: Remember, Marijuana isn’t legal in the Netherlands, however, coffee shops are able to sell it openly. Prostitution on the other hand has been legal for the past 8 years.