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Legal hookers and hash bars in Vegas?

By Balzafire, Aug 31, 2010 | |
  1. Balzafire
    Not if a poll of residents truly reflects locals' sentiments.

    Seventy-nine percent of respondents in a just-released Las Vegas Review-Journal/8NewsNow poll said no way to allowing Dutch-style marijuana and hashish bars to bring in more tourists. And 64% said nix on legalizing brothels in Clark County, even though other parts of Nevada have them and everyone knows Vegas is swarming with hookers.

    The survey reflects the views of 405 registered Clark County voters. It's not a huge number, but was consucted by a polling firm. Women were more likely to oppose both, but a majority of men were against legal pot bars and brothels.

    Brad Coker, a pollster with the Mason-Dixon company that did the survey, told the Review-Journal that "things are maybe a little desperate in Clark County these days, but I don't think they're quite that desperate yet. These kinds of issues push the limits of even a libertarian community."

    Others say pot pubs and openly-operating brothels might keep away the mainstream visitor base local hotel-casino operators and tourism officials have cultivated, added Bill Thompson, a University of Nevada professor who specializes in gaming and tourism issues.

    "I think you should really consider what kind of people this would draw," Thompson told the paper. "We don't need any more sleazy people." Thompson also cited a study he and another man did that found drinkers had the most problems with compulsive gambling, while drug users were less likely to be problem gamblers. (I guess that would mean lower revenue for casinos if drugs were legal?)

    Sin City's colorful, outspoken mayor, Oscar Goodman, discussed turning East Fremont Street downtown into a "little Amsterdam" some years back and called prostitution a potential "redevelopment tool." Legal brothels would generate revenue and be safer for practitioners of the sex trade, he said.

    The Review-Journal article said initiatives to legalize marijuana were defeated statewide in 2002 and 2006.

    By Kitty Bean Yancey,


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