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Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff

Germany

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff is a Senior Director at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a transatlantic public policy and grant-making foundation. He overseas the fund's policy programs. He was previously the Washington bureau chief of the German newsweekly, Die Zeit. Close.

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff

Germany

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff is a Senior Director at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a transatlantic public policy and grant-making foundation. more »

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Legalization Opens Criminal Floodgates

Proponents of legalizing marijuana once argued that doing so would separate casual pot smokers from the hard drug mafia. This didn't happen. Germany has legalized prostitution, but must reconsider.

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Bernard:

"Legalization Opens Criminal Floodgates"

No, it does not. Prohibition opens criminal floodgate. See the Prohibition Era which manufactured organized crime.
And, by the way, neither The Netherlands not Germany are the criminal centres of the world.

"With legalized marijuana and prostitution, Amsterdam became a magnet for human traffickers, drug traders and petty criminals."

There is no evidence about this statement. Criminality is born in areas of abolishment and illegalization. This is history, and the Prohibition Era is evidence enough.

j davis:

The arguments are mere sophistry common among the self righteous morons who want to keep locking up otherwise law abiding, productive citizens. Comparing pot to prostitution is just asinine!

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Alexis:

Legalized anything is more manageable than prohibited something.The rule of nature dictates that human beings need sex so whether its legalized or nor,people will still go after it.In majority of African countries,legalizing prostitution is signing a trouble warrant for the ones involved.While i do not support prostitution,legalizing it is almost criminal.After all,there is a reason why the world's oldest occupation is better shrouded in the margins.

Fisch:

I dont think that Thomas K-B has ever seen a coffee-shop in the Netherlands and can distinguish the scenes. What he writes about legalisation of prostitution is misleading, because his topic is not prostitution as a crime, but the civil law side of things. Ok, there has been some sort of legalisation of pimps, but the crime to be a pimp has been a crime on paper alone for many years. The police loved pimps for whatever reasons......

The biggest effect of Thomas K-Bs legalisation, that is the recognition of prostitution as an ordinary business in civil law, nothing more, is the effect on administrativ law. It is now ok to organise a club, where people pay entrance fee and have sex with strangers, the so called swinger-club, probably old fashion in NYC...

Joe:

I like what somebody said earlier.."Preposterious"..

This article is Preposterious.

Ricki:

Unfortunately politicans like lawyers are a necessity, buy we certainly need to prosecute and convict politicans who violate the public trust and the law, like Herr George W. Bushsheisskoft.

Ex-politician:

Shall we ban Congress then? And can we then classify lobbyists as pimps?

Ricki:

Darn, I gues I was late to the party. No one wants to play. Guten Nacht Herr Myer.

Ricki:

Dave:
You have not read your history nor do you know that the pot was made illegal in America originally for racist reasons (hispanics and afro-americans only smoked pot) and later make a schedule 1 with heroin for political reasons (Nixon's enemies all smoked pot). Read up on your history my boy because the case it not closed. In addition, a lot of law enforcement and prison money is WASTED putting pot head in jail when in fact state and federal coffers could be making lots of money with a pot tax just like they do with alcohol. Pot is not for everyone and it you don't like, don't smoke it, but there lots of research out there that shows cigarettes and alcohol do a lot more damage to the brain and the body than pot does. The only reason the BOSS MAN does not want pot legalized is because then everyone would be mellow and they wont be able to crank you up with there BS.

Ricki:

Kleine-Brockhoff:
I have heard the pot bars in Amsterdam are pretty shady and yes there are lots of theives and drug addicts hanging around ready to rip you off, BUT prostitution involves women who are vulnerable by nature and POT involves PLANTS. To me pot is no different from BEER. Is Germany's Octoberfest infessed with criminals? Of course not. Ever if it was would Germans give up their beer? I doubt it. Pot should be legal just like beer. They have found no long term damage to the brain from pot and it is not as harmful to your lungs as cigarettes which again are legal. Soooooooooooooooooo, I think you are wrong that pot cannot be legalized without the criminal element becoming involved. On one point we might well agree, GERMAN BEER IS THE BEST BEER IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dave:

I agree with your concerns as to what legalization of such activities will lead to. In a perfect world, tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, prostitution, and number of other activities will be all illegal with no one complaining about it. However, that's just as unlikely as pigs sprouting wings. With that in mind, what the government needs to identify is a line. Whether or not marijuana is more harmful than alcohol is not the issue. It's that the people voting the politicians in power have certain beliefs. Those politicians draw the line at what activities are legal according to the popular belief. This is such a case. Case closed.

Anonymous:

Comparing prostitution to pot is preposterous. In the Netherlands you don't have teenagers with a little pot thrown in jail with hardened criminals like in the US. The police have time to chase real criminals like rapists, murders, CIA agents and child molesters. Police in the US and Germany spend too much time chasing, prosecuting and imprisoning people who smoke marijuana. If you want to get on your high horse and ban something, start with alcohol which is far more dangerous, causes more traffic deaths, and causes more grief for families than pot smoking and prostitution combined. But I guess you and your newspaper wouldn't be very popular in Germany where drinking alcohol is the national pastime. How hypocritical.

avraam jack:

The USA had legal marijuana from 1776 until the early 1900s and there was no problem. Why would there be now?

Pat:

Making the process open for scrutiny does not make it easier for criminal activity. Paralleling marijuana and prostitution, as crime ridden when made legal is a bogus leap of faith.

If that was the case why was alchohol banned and later made legal and we now have legal drunks and no illegal alchohol activites, other than underage concumption?

I do not see the relationship between legality and criminal activity. I do see that as long as these activites are illegal criminal wills control the market.

Scott Jenson:

The black market opens the flood gates to crime.
Look at prohabition.
You sir, are not very smart.
I hope you will think of another way forward in the future.
The last thing we need is another bandaid.
Please try to think of the root causes, like underfunded education, lack of oppertunity,
poverty, hopelessness, and a slave based workforce.

DO NOT TREAT THE SYMPTOMS.
(you will never cure the illness)
I belive curing the illness is the last priority for you sir,
there is to much money in fighting a lost cause.
What ever made you think a law would stop anything haveing to do with human nature.

Josh:

As far as legalizing Marijuana goes, if we did it in this country at least the kids would have to provide ID before they buy it. Better that than have a kid in the highschool halls with weed and pressuring them to buy coke too... Be careful when you read people's assumptions, decriminalization has alot of benefits nobody wants to admit. Funding education and keeping cocaine away from kids being the least of them.

Fred Evil:

Once again we have the forwarding of the premise of Marijuana as a 'gateway drug' which has been proven over and over to be factually unfounded, and totally unrealistic. Just because someone uses marijuana does not put them 'one step away from a criminal' if that were the case, then alcohol, cigarettes, aspirin and antacis would also put people 'one step away from criminal' because they are drugs as well. Once people who are in positions of power stop disseminating incredibly inaccurate opinions, then we can begin to address the real issues, like the violence that we face (just like during prohibition!) between rivals suppliers of a particular drug. The worst crime ever committed in the name of marijuana was the theft of a bag of Chips Ahoy. Or more realistically, the killing of a rival dealer so someone can have a more lucrative corner to sell from. Open your eyes sir, you are a part of the problem, NOT the solution!

Jim:

Baloney! This is all opinion with no facts. Legalization helps take out the criminal element. Pot is less harmful than alcohol. Name one just one crime that anyone has done because they are influenced by Pot - I have never heard of it. Instead there are a hundred thousand or so Pot users in jail over something that is less harmful than alcohol. Prostitution, taken out of the criminal element is a transaction between a willing seller and a willing buyer with no victim. Example the Cat houses in Nevada.

DryIce:

The comparison between Prostitution and Pot is a false one and that is where you lost your argument. In either case I would refer you to alcohol prohibition. What say you now? Excuse me but that is exactly what I thought. You have nothing more to say do you? God Bless you and yours, Sir.

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL:

"Proponents of legalizing marijuana argued that by decriminalizing pot smokers, you could separate them from the hard drug mafia. This experiment didn’t succeed."

Thomas you are ill informed, it wasn't an experiment and as far as it has seperated the soft drugs users from crime and illegal trade it has been a great success. If you were to examine the research done in the Netherlands you will find that decriminalizing posession of marihuana has been beneficial grosso modo; one only has to compare different European countries (such as the UK) to see that it has by and large been beneficial.

These kinds of questions in The Netherlands have to do with the libertarian attitude of the Dutch who'd rather not have the state interfere in things they want to do that appear to harm none. Like most Dutch I don't like weed, prostitution, abortion, drunks, English breakfast sausages or many of the 'vices' of modern mulitcultural liberal society but that doesn't mean at all I want to see them banned.

Kirk:

Arrests for human trafficking had been on the rise in Germany, but German officials attributed this not to an actual increase, but an increase in visibility. Decriminalization or prostitution in Germany is believed to have worked and visibility has brought both trafficking and abuse of prostitutes down significantly.

The recent world cup is a great example. There were prognostications of thousands being trafficked. Reality turned out to be more like 2 (the total number who went for help from Government and NGO groups setup to help the thousands expected).

I hate prostitution with a passion, but I think criminalizing it does far more harm.

HMMM:

Why not criminalize sex? After all, from free consensual sex, it is only one step to child molestation, white slavery, and rape.

OPEN MINDED:

I would suggest we should nationalize the whole prostitution profession. Only the government can run legal brothels. I think that can solve quite a lot of crimes related to prostitution

Alex, Tehran:

The issue of legal prostitution is different from illegal immigration. Human trafficking is a matter of criminals getting around immigration laws and "jumping the fence". That is means border control. If prostitution is legal in any country, it is presumed that the person has a right to work in that country.

The Dutch system of coffee shops has worked and overall consumption of hard drugs has fallen in Holland over the last 30 years. The legalistaion process has reduced crime. It is a completely different matter, namely economic disparity, if ciriminal activity of smuggling illegal immigrants to advanced countries has increased. They become prostitutes because they don't have work, at home or at their new address!


Melanie, UK:

Perhaps the advent of these online dating sites and things of that nature will make prostitution less appealing, and will make the idea of consensual relationships (established virtually), moreso. Also, it would be cheaper too. I think men and women would likely be willing to link up casually if there was a safe, discreet way to do so, and the web could provide it.

Melanie, UK:

Perhaps the advent of these online dating sites and things of that nature will make prostitution less appealing, and will make the idea of consensual relationships (established virtually), moreso. Also, it would be cheaper too. I think men and women would likely be willing to link up casually if there was a safe, discreet way to do so, and the web could provide it.

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