Thursday, March 18, 2010

Amsterdam, the California of Europe.

This is another of my "Outside looking in" posts. Please feel free to correct my misconceptions and mistakes, but "I tells it as I sees it."

Amsterdam is often referred as the “enlightened capitol of the present world”. It used to be Greece. Amsterdam allows prostitution, and openly allows marijuana and hashish to be smoked above coffee houses, on the second floor. Needless to say, there are a lot of two story coffee houses in Amsterdam.

I noticed that it is darn hard to get any real information about Amsterdam, it’s almost like they have a publicity censor that works the internet. Recently there has been a big push in Amsterdam toward cleaning out the drugs and prostitution in the famous City. It appears that some folks don’t like the way that the city is heading. They say that it is bringing in too many undesirables. They are even closing down the Drug Sanctuary on the park on the river.

Most people really don’t care if the addicts go away. They are still somewhat ambivalent about prostitution. I guess they think that young people need some place to go to learn the art of making love. I wonder how much the hookers charge for prosti-tuition.

People traveling back into Germany from Amsterdam are thoroughly searched, and sniffed by drug dogs. Many are caught trying to conceal drugs. How stupid is that?

Maybe if California legalizes drugs and prostitution we can attract the “Cool” tourists of the world, Amsterdam be damned.

I’ve posted some of the best links to Amsterdam below, and their changing ideas.




"The leveling effects of the Sixties were more radical in the Netherlands than in other countries. Consensus decision making (which in later years became known as the poldermodel) led to the gedoogcultuur. The official tolerance that resulted has earned Holland, and Amsterdam in particular, the reputation as a place where anything goes — the world capital of relativism."

"Kids will have sex, whether you like it or not. So, at 12 years old, they get education and can go to a clinic to get contraceptives. Anonymously, if they want. Their parents won’t know.
Does this stimulate Dutch adolescents to have sex at a younger age, as critics might claim? No. Dutch youngsters have their first sexual experience relatively late. And more importantly, the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies among teenagers is the lowest in the world."

Drug Tourism
Last month the mayors of two towns in the South of the Netherlands have announced the closure of all coffeeshops — eight in total — within their municipalities. The reason? The nuisance caused by ‘drug tourists’ who cross the borders in search of soft drugs banned in their own countries.

“There are 25,000 drug tourists per week who visit these coffeeshops,” says Mayor Han Polman of Bergen op Zoom.

"A 2007 report by Amsterdam’s Department for Research and Statistics shows that of the 4.5 million tourists who spend the night in Amsterdam during a given year, 26% visit a coffeeshop. According to the Amsterdam Tourism & Convention Board, 10% of tourists even mention this as a primary reason to visit the city."

"At the same time, coffeeshops are more or less forced to deal with criminal organizations. The latter tend to have sophisticated growing operations in out of the way places. Others rent houses, squat abandoned buildings, or even break into home of people who are on vacation in order to set up temporary weed farms.

They are not just supplying Holland’s coffeeshops. It is estimated that half of the Dutch cannabis users buy their supplies on the black market. At the same time, last month a Dutch police commissioner stated that the illegal export of Dutch-grown marijuana generates about 2 billion euros ($2.58) each year."
"Meanwhile, the Maastricht city council has accepted a motion to move coffeeshops current located in the center of town to three “coffeecorners” at the outskirts of the city — close to the border with Belgium.

Mayor Gerd Leers says he prefers to maintain the policy of gedogen, and for now is interested merely in trying to minimize nuisance caused by hordes of drugs tourists by decentralizing the coffeeshops."



Anonymous said...

marijuana and hashish to be smoked above coffee houses, on the second floor.

actually you can smoke the hippie cabbage on the first floor and in the open air patios in front of the coffee shops. I even smoked a little grass downstairs in the basement, as well as while boating through the canals.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I know nothing about the rules in Amsterdam. I understand that the river is "open" territory where the cops look the other way.

Maybe they are making drug use illegal to raise the price, it works.

Ekovox said...

"Hippie Cabbage" HA! HA! HA! HA! That's the first time I've heard that....I almost pee'd my pants!

Country/Western sensation, Buck Owens, had a wonderful song about Amsterdam.

Amsterdam, old Amsterdam
How I love you Amsterdam
When I get there I'm gonna kiss the ground
Let you stand on Amsterdam.

I left my home and I left my friends
Said I'll be back but I don't know when
Set my sail to the restless wind
So long old Amsterdam.

I picked plums up in Yakimo
And I picked pears down in Arkansas
Even learned how to say you all
But I still miss Amsterdam
Amsterdam, old Amsterdam.

I did my thing in Tokyo
Tried my luck in Kokomo
Searched for Bill in Buffalo
But I still miss Amsterdam.

I picked peaches in a Georgia town
And I picked cotton down in Birmingham
At the day I'll get out of Alabam
I'm goin' back to Amsterdam.
Amsterdam, old Amsterdam.
Amsterdam, old Amsterdam...

suzy blah blah said...

the old grotto in Redway is now a marijuana dispensary, they're opening on 4-20. see you at the party.

Ernie Branscomb said...

"...the old grotto in Redway is now a marijuana dispensary.'

Good luck! I understand that the Eskimos don't buy ice either.

Ekovox said...

Very riveting discussion on the future of the marijuana industry in SoHum with Anna Hamilton on KMUD. It's part of her ongoing attempt to get people to get serious about the looming economic future and how to get legit with a strong business sense, marketing, creating a marijuana cluster of like minds to compete in a capitalistic manner with the "big boys". And Anna's thinking that county services will be taxed by SoHum community members who will be falling on hard times.

Kathy Moxon from The Humboldt Area Foundation took Anna to school about what is available by organizations and agencies countywide to help the Southern Humboldt folks.

My take is, now is the time for North Humboldt and South Humboldt to merge as a unit for the sake of the entire county. The future could be dim or bright depending on the outcome of whether we can get along or not.

Emperor Norton the Sanguine Penguin said...

Eko for county mayor! Oh wait, not if we get Buck Owens at the inaugural.
Yes my son, it is time for the sons and daughters of Buffalo woman to unite with our brethren from the north, the direction of wisdom.
Unite, as two.