Amsterdam to Halve Brothels, Marijuana Shops

City to become all around less fun
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2008 1:48 PM CST
A man, right, and a sex worker waiting for customers, far left, in Amsterdam's Red Light district in 2007.    (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
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(Newser) – Apparently being the world’s sex and drugs capital isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Amsterdam is hoping to shut down about half of its brothels and half its marijuana shops, the Daily Telegraph reports. Already this year, 109 of the city’s 482 sex “windows” have been shuttered. “Money laundering, extortion and human trafficking are things you do not see on the surface,” explained the deputy mayor, “but they are hurting people.”

Holland has been drifting away from its famously permissive culture. The country recently banned psychedelic mushroom sales, and two border towns want to close their drug shops altogether. By closing the brothels, the deputy mayor says Amsterdam will attract different kinds of tourists. “We can still have sex and drugs,” he said, “but in a way that shows the city is in control.”