It appears that every street corner has one: a ‘cafe’. A ‘cafe’ that sells cannabis and where people sit and openly smoke.
You could get high just walking past.
It was central Amsterdam, where I was lucky enough to spend a long weekend recently, visiting my sister.
What was interesting was the perfectly sociable nature of the smoking. Instead of chatting over a coffee, people would chat over a spliff or two.
The places were clean and friendly and although I did not go out late at night, I saw no evidence of anti-social behavior (in London, I did … vomit all over the pavements…)
Obviously observing something for a few days is not scientific and I do not know of the Netherland’s crime rate and how much of it is to feed a drug habit.
Nor do I know if there are significant health issues in the country as a result of smoking weed. (Some studies have suggested that there are mental health problems later in life caused by excessive smoking of pot).
However my observations did point to a liberal, socially tolerant society where young and old passed by the cafes without so much as blinking an eyelid.
I saw young and old in the cafes behaving perfectly and having a good time. I did not see a drunk during the day (but I did in the UK).
So the question I have to ask: could or should Bermuda try this approach?
I think Bermuda is very conservative by nature. It is not a liberal society at all and therefore could not bring itself to sanction even one Amsterdam-style cafe.
Should the country do this? Would tourists like or dislike the smell of pot drifting down Front Street? Would it make a difference to the drug trade? Would it lighten the load of police?
Would it encourage non-smokers to try pot and smokers to smoke even more? There are a lot more questions.
I think Bermuda should give it a try on an experimental basis: licence one place to sell cannabis, keep it well controlled and regulated and not in an obvious place.
Monitor the effects crime-wise and health-wise and be prepared to close it immediately.
What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Potterdam

Add yours

  1. Rather than limiting it to one premises, try limiting it to premises in one out of the way area. I’m thinking of a small town in the east of Bermuda which has lots of empty commercial premises and is desperate to get more visitors…

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