Pubdate: Sun, 14 Mar 2004
Source: Charlotte Observer (NC)
Copyright: 2004 The Charlotte Observer
Author: Jan M. Olsen, Associated Press


Denmark says alternate lifestyle OK, but tenants must obey laws

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - The hippie enclave of Christiania will remain
Copenhagen's alternative lifestyle community as long as residents obey the
law, pay rent and stop selling drugs, the government said.

In a report on Christiania's future, the government said Friday that enclave
residents must adapt their houses to building codes or tear them down.

The 84-acre former naval barracks, which is the home to about 1,000 people,
"should still be an area where there is room to live in a different way,"
said Finance Minister Thor Pedersen. "But it must be normalized, it must
respect the laws that apply in the rest of the Danish society."

The enclave took root in 1971 when dozens of hippies moved into the derelict
18th-century fort on state-owned land. The freewheeling society became a
counterculture oasis with psychedelic-colored buildings, free marijuana, no
government, no cars and no police.

In 1987, Christiania was recognized as a "social experiment" and residents
were later given the right to use the land, but not own it. The government
plan eliminates the agreement.

In January, hashish dealers, who have openly sold illegal drugs, demolished
their sales booths to avoid a crackdown they feared would lead to their

Although the booths have disappeared, hashish is still being sold.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Josh