The Las Vegas Amsterdam Project: Taxing the Marijuana Culture

There is more to the Little Amsterdam Project than making marijuana accessible. It is a project that makes perfect economic sense and it is a plan that can really help the city of Las Vegas.

The city of Las Vegas could learn a little bit from the city of Amsterdam as far as the legal sale of marijuana is concerned. At this point, quite a few people might be tuning out. “Not another legalize pot argument!” they may be saying.

I am not trying to present myself as a proponent of legalizing cannabis. What I am doing is looking at the pure economics of the situation. Legalizing marijuana can prove to be a great source of tax revenue. In a city such a Las Vegas where the economy has been somewhat slumping, a new source of tax revenue could prove to be a boost to city and even state coffers.

Marshall Muniz
Save Las Vegas Baseball

This would not even be a complete legalization of marijuana as the use of pot would be limited to a park area. Such containment further enhances the safety levels and makes the idea more appealing to the skeptical.

The city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands has long since been a popular tourist attraction. The reasons for this are vast. The city is known for its amazing historical culture and a very laid back and enjoyable tourist destination.

And yes, the marijuana culture of the city has long since been one of its more appealing attractions. No, this is not the only reason to visit Amsterdam but it is something that people who do visit Amsterdam will engage in.

The concept of Amsterdam pot culture was made famous in the legendary Quentin Tarantino film PULP FICTION where Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) mentions his trip to an Amsterdam hash bar. The character is quick to point out you cannot just smoke pot anywhere you wish. You need to visit a designated hash bar.

And when you are in a hash bar, you are paying sales tax on what you are purchasing. Of course, the proprietor of the hash bar has to pay business and income tax on the product that is offered. All of this just makes basic, simple, logical economic sense. It takes an underground and illegal economy and brings it into the light of day. Upon doing this, the ability to tax the revenue generated from the sale of marijuana in the aforementioned park begins to help the local economy of Las Vegas.

It is not out of the question that legalizing pot in Las Vegas could become a tourist attraction in and of itself. The addition of an amphitheatre to the park could further appeal to tourists. The benefits of this in relation to the tourist economy would potentially be significant.

There is not much mystery to how the process works. The Little Amsterdam Project is based on what has occurred in the city of Amsterdam for several decades now. If the idea was speculative then nervousness over it would be more understandable. The fact that so many years of history can be examined to determine its potential should take a lot of the speculation out of the mix.

This will be left up to pot advocates as well as many California vacationers expected to support and attend rallies backing Amsterdam Project. Initial estimates in attendence at Boyd stadium would be in excess of 200,000 rallying. I do think, however, that the subject should be discussed by the residents of the city. It is also advisable that they be able to vote on whether or not the project should be approved.

To ensure the safety and integrity of the project, common sense rules will need to be added to the mix. These rules would be in the form of basic regulations that would state:

  • You can only smoke cannabis in the park as this will enhance safety
  • Farms for growing pot will only be legal at the park. This will contain the cultivation of marijuana to a particular region
  • No one under the influence will be allowed to operate a vehicle in leaving the park
  • A license will be issued to smoke in the park in the first place
  • A license can be revoked for infractions of established rules

The City of Las Vegas could certainly benefit from a novel and new way of generating revenue. The Little Amsterdam Project could prove to be the best concept in this regard.