Hash Bars and Legal Prostitution in Vegas? Not Likely

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Nevadans do not want to see Las Vegas borrow a page from Amsterdam and legalize hookers, pot and hashish, according to a new poll.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal/8NewsNow poll finds 79 percent of respondents opposing Dutch-style hashish and marijuana bars and 64 percent opposing legalized prostitution in Clark County, even though some other parts of Nevada do have legal brothels.

Las Vegas tourism has been heavily impacted by the declining U.S. economy, but pollster Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, which conducted the poll of 405 registered voters, says there's a limit when it comes to what the city will do to improve the numbers.

"Things are maybe a little desperate in Clark County these days, but I don't think they're quite that desperate yet," Coker says. "These kinds of issues push the limits of even a libertarian community."

Coker says hash bars and brothels fly against the idea of a mainstream visitor base, which Las Vegas has tried hard to achieve of late.

And he says residents are also concerned about public safety issues that legalizing the vices might bring.

Professor Bill Thompson of the University of Nevada, who has studied the Las Vegas tourism and gaming sectors, agrees legal hash bars and prostitution could cause more harm than good.

"We don't need any more sleazy people," he tells the Review-Journal.

Both policymakers and advocacy group have for several years proposed legalizing prostitution or pot in Las Vegas, the newspaper says, though none of the ideas have stuck.



Photo, http2007, flickr
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