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Author: Subject: Amsterdam closing coffee shops & brothels

Sublime Peach





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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 03:05 PM
Amsterdam to close many brothels, marijuana cafes

By TOBY STERLING,AP
Posted: 2008-12-06 12:05:40

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - 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 so-called "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.

The news comes just one day after Amsterdam's mayor said he would search for loopholes in new rules laid down by the national government that would close marijuana cafes near schools citywide. The measures announced Saturday would affect about 36 coffee shops in the center itself - a little less than 20 percent of the city total.

Asscher underlined that the city center will remain true to its freewheeling reputation.

"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," he said. "And you won't have to be embarrassed to say you came."

Under the plan announced Saturday, Amsterdam will spend euro30 million to euro40 million ($38 million to $51 million) to bring hotels, restaurants, art galleries and boutiques to the center. It will also build new underground parking areas.

Amsterdam already had plans to close many brothels and some coffee shops, but plans announced Saturday go further.

Asscher said the city would reshape the area, using zoning rules, buying out businesses and offering assistance to upgrade stores. The city has shut brothels and sex clubs in the past by relying on a law allowing the closure of businesses with bookkeeping irregularities.

Prostitution will be allowed only in two areas in the district - notably De Wallen ("The Walls"), a web of streets and alleys around the city's medieval retaining dam walls. The area has been a center of prostitution since before the city's golden shipping age in the 1600s.

Prostitution was legalized in the Netherlands in 2000, formalizing a long-standing tolerance policy.

Marijuana is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but prosecutors won't press charges for possession of small amounts. Coffee shops are able to sell it openly.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 04:44 PM
Much of this originates with pressure against the Netherlands from the Bush admin for years...threats about trade and other relations if they didn't fall in line...

 

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  posted on 12/6/2008 at 07:06 PM
fortunately we can still go to Vancouver B. C. to catch a legal buzz, same hemisphere anyways

 

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  posted on 12/7/2008 at 02:52 AM





[Edited on 12/7/2008 by Mulehead1]

 

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  posted on 12/7/2008 at 12:29 PM

 

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  posted on 12/7/2008 at 12:47 PM
Amsterdam closing coffee shops & brothels

What effect will this have on tourism?

 

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  posted on 12/7/2008 at 01:01 PM

Pubdate: Sat, 29 Nov 2008
Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)
Copyright: 2008 Bangor Daily News Inc.

Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/spirit.htm (Spiritual or Sacramental)


GROUP USES MARIJUANA AS SACRAMENT

Temple Of Advanced Enlightenment Seeks Religious Exemption From DEA

BANGOR, Maine - Every Tuesday and Sunday afternoon the living room in the Rev. Kevin Loring's apartment becomes a tiny house of worship.

The head of the 3-year-old Temple of Advanced Enlightenment earlier this week stood next to a round table as five others sat on sofas and chairs pushed back against the walls. They formed an uneven circle in the second-floor walk-up.

" We use music as a form of prayer," Loring, 28, told them as the service began. "It helps us to see a little bit more clearly."

He played Ben Harper's "I'll Rise" as the worshippers bowed their heads. After the song, the minister gave thanks to the Pure One and to Mother Earth. Then the minister prepared the sacrament by placing a small amount of marijuana in a wooden pipe.

"The taking of the sacrament is a very serious tradition," he said. "It's a very holy spiritual tool. It is with great respect that we take part in the sacrament."

Loring lit the pipe at 4:20 p.m., inhaled, exhaled, then took a drink of water from a large clear glass. The minister passed the pipe and lighter to his fellow clergyman, the Rev. Garrett Wozneak, 28, of Glenburn. Wozneak inhaled, exhaled, passed the pipe and drank from the glass Loring offered as they participated in the Sacred Smoking Circle.

In smoking marijuana followed by taking a drink, participants take in the four elements - marijuana from the earth, fire to light it, wind to inhale and exhale the smoke and water, according to Loring.

"Cannabis is the Divine Inheritance given to all people by Mother Earth so that we may unlock the mystery of the many and varied messages of the Pure One," the group's Web site states.

Responsible use of marijuana for spiritual enrichment is at the center of the religion that Loring, a Penobscot Indian, and others founded about three years ago. Members do not advocate for the legalization of marijuana because they believe its use requires spiritual guidance, the minister said.

"It's important to take one eye from the physical realm to see more clearly in the spiritual," Loring said. "That may sound like you are half blind, but you really are taking your focus from one place to another - a place where you can see real unconditional love."

The use of marijuana as a sacrament by members is carefully monitored, he said. Temple members must be at least 18 years old and have completed basic religious studies of the Temple before they engage in rituals such as the Sacred Smoking Circle, Vision Quest, Blessing of Meals, Blessing of Home, Holy Anointing and Honoring the Deceased, which are religious rituals similar to those practiced in mainline religions.

Samantha Bailey, 20, of Winthrop met Loring online. Bailey said Tuesday that she was not raised in a religious tradition, but the Temple's beliefs were "something I could wrap my brain around."

"When I take in the sacrament," she said, "it opens up my mind to different possibilities. I see things in a completely different way, and I see things that I would not normally have caught."

Loring, Wozneak and Jillian Dunton are the group's ordained clergy and make up the temple's high council. In order to be ordained, each had to be a member for at least three years, complete 500 hours of community service, be tested by other council members, sign an affidavit of spiritual cannabis use and take a vow of pov-erty, compassion and morality.

The Temple's beliefs are based in what are considered by theologians to be Native American traditions. Loring and other clergy wear black shirts and robes similar to those worn by clergy in Christian denominations but with green instead of white collars.

"Native American [and] First Nations religion is primarily about experience, not about theology or doctrine," according to the fourth edition of "How to Be a Perfect Stranger: The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook. It is simultaneously a personal and a profoundly communal experience. The nearly universal rule among Native peoples that explains this, is that ceremonies, customs and various cultural traditions, which are all ways of exercising spirituality, are, at their core, community activities for community members."

Giving back to the community is central to the Temple's theology, according to information on the Temple's Web site. Members and seekers meet twice a month at the Union Street Brick Church in Bangor to discuss how to best do that.

One idea the group is exploring is distributing medical marijuana, which is legal in Maine if prescribed by a physician, to people in the Bangor area who have been advised to use marijuana but cannot obtain it legally.

The Temple is in the process of asking the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for a religious use exception so members don't need to fear arrest, according to Loring. Its mission statement also includes providing public education programs on religious freedom and civil rights in relation to smoking marijuana.

"As human beings, we're wired to want to know more about spirituality," the Rev. Lee Witting, owner of the Union Street Brick Church, said after Tuesday night's meeting. "There's a whole generation that has the same spiritual yearning that we in traditional Judeo-Christian traditions have, but they have no direction in which to point their spiritual curiosity.

"This is an intellectual approach to spiritual use of marijuana," Witting, who also is a chaplain at Eastern Maine Medical Center, said, "that might keep them from using other more destructive drugs. They are doing something good and taking a new approach so I'm glad to let them use the space."

In the Sacred Smoking Circle on Tuesday afternoon, Loring told worshippers to take in a positive better tomorrow when they inhaled and to exhale the negativity that kept them from becoming better people.

"When I take in the sacrament," Bailey said, "it opens my mind up to different possibilities. When I blow out the negative energy, it really feels that way to me, like I'm expelling the bad."

The Temple of Advanced Enlightenment will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, at the Union Street Brick Church on the corner of Union and First streets in Bangor. For more information, visit www.templegreen.org.



 

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  posted on 12/7/2008 at 01:07 PM
WannabeDerek, I can't find them now...articles I read a few byears ago. So, no real documentaion. Did dig up some interesting stuff, including the real deal that not much is gonna change in A-dam...

http://blog.norml.org/2008/11/30/are-dutch-cannabis-selling-cafes-going-ext inct-here%E2%80%99s-the-truth/


http://www.iht.com/articles/1996/11/29/dutch.t_0.php

http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/533/dutch_police_union_leader_legalize_ marijuana



In the Netherlands both the Dutch government and the DEA have been criticized for violations of Dutch sovereignty in drug investigations. According to Peter R. de Vries, a Dutch journalist present at the 2005 trial of Henk Orlando Rommy, the DEA has admitted to activities on Dutch soil. Earlier, then minister of justice Piet Hein Donner, had denied to the Dutch parliament that he had given permission to the DEA for any such activities, which would have been a requirement by Dutch law in order to allow foreign agents to act within the territory. (de Vries, Peter R. (2005-10-02). "Dossier: ‘De zwarte Cobra’" (in Dutch). Programma. Retrieved on 2007-05-12.)

http://liberalvaluesblog.com/?p=154

http://www.marijuanalibrary.org/articles.html


This is a Consumer Reports item from ‘72”

http://www.druglibrary.org/Schaffer/library/studies/cu/cumenu.htm

Contains:

The recommendations in this report included:
• Stop emphasizing measures designed to keep drugs away from people.
• Stop publicizing the horrors of the "drug menace."
• Stop increasing the damage done by drugs.
• Stop misclassifying drugs.
• Stop viewing the drug problem as primarily a national problem, to be solved on a national scale.
• Stop pursuing the goal of stamping out illicit drug use.
• Consumers Union recommends the immediate repeal of all federal laws governing the growing, processing, transportation, sale, possession, and use of marijuana.
• Consumers Union recommends that each of the fifty states similarly repeal its existing marijuana laws and pass new laws legalizing the cultivation, processing, and orderly marketing of marijuana-subject to appropriate regulations.
• Consumers Union recommends that state and federal taxes on marijuana be kept moderate, and that tax proceeds be devoted primarily to drug research, drug education, and other measures specifically designed to minimize the damage done by alcohol, nicotine, marijuana. heroin, and other drugs.
• Consumers Union recommends an immediate end to imprisonment as a punishment for marijuana possession and for furnishing marijuana to friends.*
• Consumers Union recommends, pending legalization of marijuana, that marijuana possession and sharing be immediately made civil violations rather than criminal acts.
• Consumers Union recommends that those now serving prison terms for possession of or sharing marijuana be set free, and that such marijuana offenses be expunged from all legal records.


http://www.cedro-uva.org/lib/reinarman.dutch.html


 

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  posted on 12/7/2008 at 03:30 PM
Is there any reason to travel there now??? Nothing against Amsterdam, it might be quite beautiful, but if you take away the coffee shops I have no reason to go their. Too many other places I would rather travel to. The red light district is the draw IMO.

 

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  posted on 12/7/2008 at 07:06 PM
quote:





Man, my eyes are watering and my mouth's gettin' a little sweet and cottony just looking at all of that.

 

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  posted on 12/7/2008 at 07:06 PM
Doesn't look like they are closing them all, just in a certain area of town.

 

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  posted on 12/8/2008 at 07:39 AM
quote:
Is there any reason to travel there now??? Nothing against Amsterdam, it might be quite beautiful, but if you take away the coffee shops I have no reason to go their. Too many other places I would rather travel to. The red light district is the draw IMO.


World class museums, ancient city, walking amongst the history....

 

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  posted on 12/8/2008 at 08:51 AM
Man, I wish I was there for some "going out of business sales."

 

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  posted on 12/8/2008 at 08:53 AM
Hey, they could combine the brothels and coffee shops. Call them Butt and Buds...like Bed and Breakfast?

 

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  posted on 12/8/2008 at 09:36 AM
quote:
quote:
Is there any reason to travel there now??? Nothing against Amsterdam, it might be quite beautiful, but if you take away the coffee shops I have no reason to go their. Too many other places I would rather travel to. The red light district is the draw IMO.


World class museums, ancient city, walking amongst the history....


That's right. I was there in '97. A great city even w/ fewer hookers and coffee shops. I must admit though, the Van Gogh museum was much more interesting after a visit to the Bulldog coffee shop! I did not spend the money to go into the Banana Bar (don't ask what it's all about!).

I had to throw "some" away before flying home. That hurt.

[Edited on 12/8/2008 by Brock]

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/8/2008 at 09:41 AM
mmmmmmmmm........... thai stick...........

 

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  posted on 12/8/2008 at 09:50 AM
quote:
mmmmmmmmm........... thai stick...........


mmmmmmmmmmm.........Hash.........

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/8/2008 at 10:43 AM

 

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  posted on 12/8/2008 at 10:45 AM
LOL!!!

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 12/8/2008 at 04:38 PM
quote:
Hey, they could combine the brothels and coffee shops. Call them Butt and Buds...like Bed and Breakfast?


LOL!!!

 

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  posted on 12/8/2008 at 04:53 PM
that sensi looks tasty

 

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