Amsterdam to close many brothels, marijuana cafes
By TOBY STERLING
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.
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."
Amsterdam already had plans to close many brothels and some coffee shops, but plans announced Saturday go further.
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.