hoeksteen on Sun, 18 May 1997 14:35:57 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Drugs and Drugs in Amsterdam

Drugs and Drugs in Amsterdam

This is the next of a series of articles on  the Drug run economy of
Amsterdam. The first time Drugs merged on the scene in Amsterdam was right
at the beginning of the city, about 750 years ago, when a few moors started
to live at a shipwharf right outside the settlement on the river Amstel.
Records show that they smoked a strange weed, that within a short time
became a mayor hit among the inhabitants of the city. It was exported right
away to the nearby city of Haarlem, and led a few centuries later to a war
between the two cities. This is the origin of the famous Dutch play
Gijsbrecht by Dutch poet Vondel, a fact that is unknown by most people.
And now, a few weeks before the top in Amsterdam, the succes of local
drugbusinessmen is under siege from retorical attacks of for example the
French president Chirac.Who thinks that drugs destroy a society. This is
wrong, drugs are the number one clue to the Dutch economic succes everybody
envies these days.
And, by the way, how many innocent lives of men, animals, fish, plants etc.
were destroyed by nuclear testing in the Pacific. But now back to some
basic information. Harddrugs are reallly hazardous to your life. You must
be out of your fucking mind to stick those needles in your vaines when
your're not an diabetic. But then again, the liberal ideas have always been
most important in Amsterdam, so if the truely free human being choses to
clogg their vaines with killing substances, that's fine with us. However,
on the other hand, the freedom of the liberated man to smoke a joint should
always be kept on top of the list. Trouble starts with intellectuels
suggesting to give free heroine to the junkies. In Amsterdam these
discussions have been started too as an attempt to handling severe
junkieproblems. On a last visit to Basel, members of the Amsterdam City
Council have seen projects of a joint operation between the Central
Government and the Local Government  in Switzerland to try to get a grip on
the harddrugs problems. In these times when it seems everything is
possible, the creation of so called' Users Spaces' might be a  some sort of
a solution to the terrribly complicated situation with junkies.
One of the biggest spaces for drugs users, especially XTC and Cocaine on
the other hand is the yearly exhibition called the KunstRai. The users in
this space don't look like stung out junkies at all. The drug industry is
also a big maceanes for the Arts. It is a known fact that a lot of artists
in the 80 ties, when they were without money, lived in appartements owned
by drug lords, and payed the rent with their work.  The direct combination
between the use of drugs and the use of paint and brushes is one that 's
been here for ages. Remember Andy and Jean Michel!?! But, even if people
want to be depend on their druglord,  c'est une autre chose. Because here
in Amsterdam , the people where stupified when semi-conservative VVD Ton
Hooimaijers introduced the idea of giving free drugs to our children. We
were so shocked. The absolute destruction of society when giving out free
drugs is gigantic. Imagine what would happen to your child on High School.
On every corner of the Amsterdam streets the City Drug Handout Bus would be
availble to you and all others. Do you realize what conseqeunces this
program would have? T o be even more conservative, you would be paying
local taxes to support the druggies in the street stealing you carradio!
Offcourse, we do suspect that Mr Hooimaijers
was under influence of some kind of sustance when he made these ideas public.
However, ideas of this kind seem to find more and more base at the members
of the Amsterdam
City Council. The horrible sights of junkies injecting themselves in their
neckvaines is not something the young children should see. But the question
is: are these new Drugusers Facilities going to be the solution to handling
the problem? Is it a good idea to hide the users away from the world?
Becuase by creating certain spaces where people can fully indulge
themselves in their habit, you attract also the sellers ( pushers).
Remember, those people are illlegals! So, if this idea of suppliying  free
drugs to the children of the next generations is the first step in Dutch
legalisation of both soft- and harddrugs, it may be a good idea.
Furthermore, by introducing special spaces to get a better grip on junkies
AND their suppliers, not bad. The trouble is that we do not know which way
the wind is blowing. Which way are we going? When City Council members
publicly support the idea of free drugsupply, do we still need them?
Probably , desparate to find any kind of solution, they seem to be
wandering around in idealand just to try to get elected next time.

Rob Zwetsloot and Hannes Vegter, Hoeksteen LIVE!

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