Swiss Cannabis legalisation referendum – part 2

22 10 2008

The Swiss are getting ready for the referendum on cannabis legalisation at the end of next month. As we really appreciate this initiative and wish more governments would be so democratic as the Swiss, we plan to pay as much attention to this referendum as possible.

As discussed earlier on this blog on November 30th a referendum will be held among the people of Switzerland about whether to completely legalise possession, sale, and cultivation of cannabis.

After reading some of the comments made on the previous blogpost on reddit we feel it is probably wise to clarify some of the information given by us. In the last post we said the Swiss wanted to decriminalise cannabis usage. This is not totally correct and has apparently confused some of our readers..

What the referendum is actually about is the complete legalisation and regulation of the cannabis market. This means cannabis would get the same treatment as alcohol or cigarettes and goes much further then for instance the current Dutch system.

We feel legalisation and regulation are equally important and are the only way to effectively deal with the Cannabis “problem” many governments face nowadays.

The initiative also has a website which unfortunately is only available in German.

Click here to visit

Support this inniative so one day in the future it might happen in your country. Tell your friends, blog about it, write about it and if you happen to have voting rights in Switzerland go out and vote!

Dutch police to crack down on cannabis export

22 10 2008

Source: Photo: Flip Fransen

Last saturday the Dutch newspaper NRC handelsblad published an interview with the head of the Dutch cannabis task force Max Daniel. Obviously the original interview in the newspaper was in Dutch, however NRC has been so kind to provide an version for their English audience.

This interview is very interesting because it seems to hold a negative opinion about cannabis and the way the Dutch decriminalisation system works. By doing so however, it presents an excellent case for the legalisation of cannabis.

Mr. Daniel points out in this interview that the Dutch cannabis trade is largely controlled by organised crime and that he is planning to crack down on these organisations. At the same time he also points out that it is not his intention to close any of the coffeeshops.

As many of you may know coffeeshops are allowed to sell a maximum of 5 grams of cannabis per person to the consumer. At the same time the supply side of these coffeeshops is still illegal. As Mr. Daniel emphasises he wants to stop criminals at the supply side of the cofffeeshop. How is he going to achieve this without closing the coffeeshops? There seems to be somewhat of a contradiction in his statements?

There is only one way to achieve this and that is to fully regulate the market, both supply to and from coffeeshops should be legal and regulated, this is the only way to effectively prevent criminal organisations from taking part in the cannabis trade in the Netherlands.

Another interesting point is the figure below on Dutch cannabis exports. How do they estimate this figure? Are all the tourist that buy cannabis in a coffeeshop and smoke it in the Netherlands included in these export figures? If they are not, they should be, as by definition this is export too. Does that mean the Dutch government, who taxes the sales in coffeeshops, is part of this “criminal” conspiracy to export Cannabis?

Police to crack down on cannabis export

Source: Published: 20 October 2008

Dutch cannabis growers earn around 2 billion euros from exporting marijuana to the rest of the world every year, says police commissioner Max Daniel who heads a task force set up by the government this summer. An interview with the police chief who has been appointed to crack down on criminal organisations involved in the illegal trade.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cannabis Tribunal

21 10 2008

On Monday the first and Tuesday the second of December, the Cannabis college in cooperation with the “drug policy foundation” (stichting drugsbeleid) and ENCOD are organising the Cannabis tribunal at the international press centre in the Hague.

The main question these public hearings will be focusing on is; What is going to happen with the Dutch cannabis policy after almost 30 years of semi-decriminalisation?

The Cannabis Tribunal will consist out of six public hearings and a closing debate. Every hearing will be concluded by two speakers who both have a different point of view on the discussed matter.

The topics that will be discussed are;

  1. The future of the Coffeeshop
  2. Medicinal cannabis
  3. The role of the media
  4. The future of Hemp
  5. The Dutch drugs policy in an international perspective
  6. The rationale behind the cannabis prohibition

The goal of these public hearings is to start a nationwide debate discussing the reasons why there is such a thing as the cannabis prohibition and how the Dutch government can improve the current situation.

For more information please visit (dutch)

Addicted to foolish legislation on drugs

21 10 2008

The Independent published this very interesting article about the british politicians stand on drugs and why they are wrong:

The “war on drugs” finally flickered into the election campaign last weekend. You might expect it to be one of the biggest issues, since – along with the United States – our government is the most hawkish drug warrior in the world. Using the institutions of the United Nations as their proxy, they are trying violently to suppress a $500bn-a-year industry that makes up 8 per cent of all global trade. Whole countries – from Afghanistan to Colombia – are being destabilised as they try to “eradicate” drug supply.

Read the full article @

10 year anniversary Cannabis College

20 10 2008

From Sunday the 23rd until Tuesday the 25th of November the Cannabis College in cooperation with the Hash, marijuana and Hemp museum will organise a Hemp event in celebration of the 10 year anniversary of the Cannabis College.

Both the Cannabis college and the Hash, Marijuana and Hemp museum are located in the heart of Amsterdam at the Oudezijds Achterburgwal.

The Cannabis College was opened its doors in 1998 when Henk Poncin and a few members of a group known as the “Green Prisoners Release” decided to create a public information centre regarding all the beneficial aspects of the beautiful Cannabis sativa L. plant.

Next to the open air demonstrations of the many environmentally friendly applications of hemp there will be performances by various street musicians and on Sunday the 23rd the Hash, Marijuana and Hemp museum will award the Cannabis Culture Prize to the Dutch poet Simon Vinkenoog for his song in praise of cannabis and to the ex- prime minister Dries van Agt who is the founder of the current Dutch cannabis policy.

Right after the award ceremony there is the official opening of the hemp gallery at the oudezijds Achterburgwal 130 (right next to the cannabis college). Here you can admire an exposition of hemp related art and antiques. This includes original works by van Ostade, David Teniers, Adriaan Brouwer and Piet Mondriaan.

Check out the Cannabis College website for more information.

Gourmet cooking with the Herb – Cannabis cooking class

16 10 2008

This particular video features gourmet chef Hans who teaches you all about gourmet cooking using your favorite herb. Not only a good way to improve your cooking skills, but this video also shows you how to use cannabis in a responsible and healthy way.

Regulated market vs. international cannabis prohibition

6 10 2008

The Beckley foundation, an UN recognized NGO will publish a report on cannabis policy in a global perspective. This report will address the shortcomings of the current cannabis prohibition.

“The Report will be finished by September 2008, in time to be taken into account in the global debate on drug policies in connection with the 2009 UNGASS evaluation. It will provide a comprehensive overview of the evidence that a policymaker at the national or international level will need to know in considering how to move beyond the present stalemate on cannabis policy.”

“The Cannabis Commission Report is to be published as a book by the Oxford University Press, to ensure that its impact is as widespread as possible. Besides this book, the principal findings of the Report will be collated in a separate document, together with the Conclusions and Recommendations , which will provide an accessible summary from which policymakers may inform themselves.”

The report is being launched at a two-day conference, which will be attended by leading figures in the drugs policy world.

Read the more about the report here.

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