A lot of us receive that grin when we chose to pay a visit to Amsterdam for our vacations. However, why is that so?
It’s a place where one can genuinely feel free! Yes, this fact is known to all, that Amsterdam is liberated by thoughts. Obvious reasons though, ‘Free sex and drugs!’
But I’m sure just like me, you too have also thought why this government allows ‘drugs’ which is proven to be injurious to human health?
Then let me tell you the history behind it.
Amsterdam is one of the favourite tourist spots which is known by many names like ‘free city’.
This city perfectly depicts the cultural blend as it’s a home of many immigrants like Jews from Spain, French from Protestants! These people have found safe haven decades back! And why is that so?
Cause they believed in trade more than ideology or let alone religion.
Due to this versatility, they refrained from having stringent rules and rather learnt different languages, traded overseas and accepted differences.
Now let’s have a look on the Dutch government’s perception! They are of the opinion that it’s solely an individual’s choice to understand what is right for one’s health and so, they let them choose! The Dutch government consider this rule as fundamental. Another idea which guides the Dutch laws in their drug policy is that, hiding anything which is socially negative will not disappear, instead of on a contrary; make them worse because when concealed, they become more difficult to influence and control.
However, though the Dutch government believes in giving freedom they exactly know where to strop!
These people have two types of drugs- soft and hard!
Hard includes LSD, Cocaine, morphine, heroine which are banned and they are not provided in the city!
Where as soft drugs are all sort of Cannabis, marijuana, hash oil etc and they are found in coffee shops which are banned to give alcohols by the government!
Now comes the interesting part! How do they advertise?
Subtle yet Aesthetic! They often fly green-yellow-red flags (Ethiopian), other symbols of Rastafari process or depiction of‘palm leaves’ to indicate they sell cannabis!
In these coffee shops, they provide a menu of drugs selling items such as hash brownies, space cookies, space muffins etc!
let’s get enlightened about their thoughts behind legal prostitution!
Why do they approve this thought as well?
Since ‘middle age era’-kind of still prevails in Amsterdam and they have a pragmatic attitude towards everything and hence, they kind of approved this practice. However, everything has it’s own pros and cons and similarly, when these things went beyond control the government chose to allow them but in specific areas so that things could be under control or else they were fined!
But in the 70s and 80s the laws on prostitution were really strict and till 20th century when a lot of women from different countries came to the Netherlands, then only the government chose not to interface till the time anything is at stake and protect their women by tolerating prostitution by ‘HARM REDUCTION’, ie supporting this and the belief that enforcement of anti- prostitution laws would be counterproductive.
The Res Thread (de Rode Draad) is a support and advocacy association for prostitutes that was founded in 1985 and works for the legitimisation and against the stigmatisation of prostitutes.
Prostitution was defined as legal on 1988.
Though after the legalisation, in 2000s there were many criminal activities involved in it and residents of De wallen, the famous red light area of Amsterdam confirmed that women were brought by guys of eastern Europe, all frightened and beaten up!
In 2005 Amma Asante and Karina Schaapman, two councillorsof the Labour Party (Netherlands), found out that women were forced to work in this profession and were being abused by criminal gangs and pimps!
In order to address this problem the government had taken licenses of 30 brothels and works from them and also added it’s because of the act of year of 2000 that this situation aggravated.
But nevertheless, everything has it own pros and cons!
So guys, along with ‘free sex and legal drugs’ there’s a lot more to explore just like our favourite beer brand, Heineken which was the only beer brand till 1988!
Barring that the world’s first night life started here and amongst the oldest clubs is ‘ Club Escape’ which is 32 years old and it chooses to play songs of all genres!
Not only that, the city has the world’s best tramline , making commuting so convenient for tourists!
Last but not the least, if interested in history then the world’s best museum is also available there.
Hence, I hope now we know why Amsterdam is one of the world’s best tourist spots since the list is illustrative but not exhausting.
Hence, be LIBERATED by thoughts! Be a step ahead, everyday.