The Cannabis Culture Awards 2012 – opening the debate about cannabis

15 05 2012

Cannabis Culture Award winner 2012 Thorvald Stoltenberg:

‘Hope is almost as important as life itself’

During a festive and moving ceremony, the Cannabis Culture Awards 2012 were awarded on April 26th in Amsterdam. Two former statesmen, Mr. Thorvald Stoltenberg, former minister of Defense of Norway and Mr. Dries van Agt, former Prime minister of the Netherlands, expressed their hope for a future without cannabis prohibition. ‘Hope is almost as important as life itself’, said Stoltenberg, after accepting the Cannabis Culture Award on behalf of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

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Here is a short video report of the Award ceremony:





Cannabis Debates Begin Tomorrow

4 02 2011

In response to the current plans for limiting the right to buy cannabis to Dutch residents, and other related restrictions, a series of debates are taking place throughout the Netherlands during February and March. Beginning tomorrow (05/02) at the Cannabis College in Amsterdam, the Cannabis Debates are open to everyone over the age of 18 and attendance (14:00 to 17:00) is free.

Workable Cannabis Policy
The Cannabis Debates are organized by the VOC (lit. Society for the Abolition of Cannabis Prohibition) and THC (Taskforce for Cannabis Management), an independent work-group including members of the National Platform of Coffeeshop Unions (LOC) and the VOC. Their aim is to present a workable and well supported alternative to the potentially disastrous schemes favoured by the Cabinet.

This alternative is a clear and regulated management of cannabis, including growing, for personal use and would effectively remove the ‘back-door’ criminality from the ‘front-door’ legal sales. The contradiction between illegal wholesale supply and decriminalized personal supply is the root of the problems with the tolerance policy, caused not by going ‘too far’ as many politicians seem to think, but by not going far enough.
Concept model 'Van Gedogen Tot Handhaven'

Be part of the Cannabis Debates
The management concept presented by THC sets out a practical and safe system for regulating the cannabis trade and is entitled ‘Van Gedogen Naar Handhaven’ (‘From Tolerance To Management’). Contributions and suggestions are welcome from everyone who attends the debates (please bear in mind that the main language will be Dutch). Considering that the Tweede Kamer began their own debate on moving from cannabis tolerance to zero tolerance exactly a year ago today, the Cannabis Debates offer an essential opportunity to find a saner solution that must not be missed.

Other debate dates:

Zaterdag 26 februari:
Coffeeshop The Pink, Willemstraat 35, Eindhoven

Zaterdag 5 maart:
Koffieshop De Os, Korfmakersstraat 2, Leeuwarden

Maandag 21 maart:
Live 330 / Cremers, Korte Molenstraat 2, Den Haag

Source: VOC Nederland, Zaterdag 5 februari eerste cannabis debat in amsterdam





Dutch Coffeeshop Pass System Approved By European Court

16 12 2010

Coffeeshops will be effectively restricted from selling cannabis to non-residents, and Amsterdam is no exception. The controversial ‘weed pass’ system planned by the new Dutch government is not in conflict with the European treaty on free movement of goods, nor the current anti-discriminatory legislation, it was announced yesterday.

Man smoking a joint in an Amsterdam coffeeshop

Will tourists still be allowed to share cannabis bought by a resident?

The coalition government, already troubled by internal conflict and scandal in their first few months, asked that the European Court examine the new measure for possible conflict with existing legislation. The European Court has allowed the plans in order to combat the ‘drug tourism’ problems that residents have been experiencing in border towns.

Amsterdam relies on tourists, many of whom openly state that they would not visit the city if they were banned from coffeeshops, for a great deal of revenue. The Mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan doubts that the pass system will improve anything, stating that street dealing and the problems associated with it will only increase. Despite this the government will not make an exception for the city that has been a Mecca for marijuana lovers for over three decades and a symbol of free thought and acceptance for hundreds of years.

The pass system will be implemented as soon as possible in the province of Brabant (in the south of the Netherlands, bordering Belgium) although details have not yet been released on who will approve, issue and control the passes, nor how they should be applied for. Other issues, such as whether tourists will be allowed into coffeeshops simply to drink coffee and if there will be restrictions on residents sharing legally purchased cannabis with non-residents, have yet to be explored.





First Coffeeshop opened in the United States of America

18 11 2009

Good news has reached us. In the city of Portland the first “Amsterdam” style Cannabis Café has been opened. Portland has (sort of) legalized the possession of  Marijuana under an ounce(a little under 30 grams).

The Cannabis Café has opened it’s door at precisely 4:20 p.m. last Friday afternoon and is the first coffee house in Oregon catering to licensed users of medical marijuana.

The new cafe, run by the Oregon branch of NORML, went into operation just weeks after the Justice Department announced that people who use marijuana for medical purposes and those who distribute it to them will not face federal prosecution, provided they act according to state law.

It looks like nearly every other coffeehouse in town, with Wi-Fi access, Coffee, soft drinks, trays of Marsee Bakery pastries and sandwiches. The only difference is that shiny silver Volcano vaporizers are plugged into outlets lining the tiled bar and the familiar smell of medical marijuana patients using their “medicine”.

The comparison to an Amsterdam coffeeshop doesn’t really hold up, as you can’t actually buy your weed IN the Cannabis Café. Anne Saker from oregonlive.com explains:

“The only people permitted in the Cannabis Café are those licensed to smoke who also hold membership in the lobbying group Oregon NORML. Patrons will be charged $5 a day. They can bring their own or smoke donated marijuana. Oregon law says medical marijuana may not be sold.”

Does this mean that for $5 a day a member gets free “donated” weed? So without actually buying the weed you still get to smoke weed? Great!

Below a video of the opening of the Cannabis Café in Portland.





Cannabis Ebonics – Stoner Terms

29 10 2009

We found this list of stoner terms online and thought we’d share them.  Some of the terms are more frequently used in America however most (if not all) have made their way into the international stoner vocabulary.  We also dug up a classic clip of Ali G listing other stoner terms:

April 20th (4/20) – International Cannabis Day, everyone blazes on this day. Everyone blazes at 4:20 every day too.

Blaze – To get high!

Blunt – Either a hollowed out cigar filled with marijuana or (more commonly) a “marijuana cigarette” rolled with a blunt wrap (tobacco paper or emptied cigar).

Bowl – Can refer either to the part of a piece that holds cannabis, or to the pipe itself.

Bogart – The act of holding on to a joint/piece/blunt for too long, or one who does such an act: “Don’t bogart that joint my friend, pass it over to me”.

Boo – A street name for marijuana, listed only in anti-drug literature. No one has ever heard or used it. If you are ever arrested for possession, you should use this term, saving the taxpayers the expense of correcting and reprinting anti-pot pamphlets.

Kick-Hole / Carb – The hole on the side of a piece used to regulate air flow. Hold it closed with your thumb while inhaling to draw smoke into the chamber, then release to let air in and force the smoke into your lungs. Also called a “rush hole”.

Cherry – The red burning coal of marijuana in a joint or bowl.

Chillum – A pipe with the bowl in line with the stem.

Ganja – Just 1 of many synonyms for cannabis, others include  Dope, Marijuana, Grass, Draw, Puff, Blow, Weed, Gear, Ganja, Herb, Wacky Baccy, Skunk, Pot, Bob Hope and Bob – see the Ali G video below for many more :)

Hashish / Hash – The resin secreted by a marijuana plant. Different kinds of hash are prepared with a variety of recipes.

Hash oil – A liquid extracted from marijuana. Use mostly by dipping smokeables into the hash oil.

Hit – A drag or puff cannabis.

Hot Box / White wall – Getting high in a car or small space with no ventilation so that you are constantly inhaling atmospheric smoke.

Joint / Zut / Doob / Doobie – Marijuana cigarette. Kind Bud (chronic, hydro, sticky icky, highs) – High potency Cannabis.

Mids – Descent cannabis for the money you pay for it, if you don’t have a lot of money this is the best way to go.

Moocher – Someone who will smoke your bud in a second, but never has any of their own.

Papers / Skins – Cigarette papers used for rolling joints.

Piece – Refers to a pipe of one sort or another.

Resin – Black tar like stuff that builds up in smoking apparatuses.

Schwag – Low grade cannabis or the leftovers from the bottom of a big bag.

Source:  www.howtogrowbud.com





Top U.K government scientist says: Cannabis evidence ‘was devalued’

29 10 2009

We came across this interesting thread on the BBC website which refers to a lecture given by Professor David Nutt, of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.  Professor Nutt used a lecture at King’s College in London and a briefing paper to attack what he called the “artificial” separation of alcohol and tobacco from illegal drugs, accusing ex-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith of “devaluing” scientific research. He also criticizes the scare-tactics of the U.K government on the issue and claims that the link between cannabis use and schizophrenia is hugely over-exaggerated;  This story has some traction and has been on rotation on both BBC News 24 and British terrestrial television!  It is a blow to the U.K government as Professor Nutt is the new chairman of the Government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs – popularly known as the government’s “Drug Czar”.

Many observers are worried about the contradictory and incoherent nature of the U.K’s current drug policy which clearly hasn’t worked – The U.K has the 3rd largest cannabis consumption rate in the western world! The Home Secretary has herself admitted to smoking cannabis as a student whilst attending Oxford University – making her a MASSIVE hypocrite – if she had been caught under her own rules, she would never have been able to hold the position of Home Secretary!

I also came across a video on the subject… enjoy!

Heres some links to other relevant articles that we’ve found on the BBC website:
Debate over cannabis classification
Q&A: Cannabis and health
Q&A: Cannabis guidelines

Its also interesting to see what the BBC themselves have to say about cannabis, it’s actually a really good, balanced and informative piece which drew a smile from us all!





Houses made of hemp could help combat climate change!

27 10 2009

professor pete walker - university of bath

We have recently come across this very interesting press release from Professor Peter Walker at the University of Bath (U.K) who is leading the research into the use of hemp-lime in construction.  Buildings and other infrastructure currently accounts for almost 20% of the UK’s eco-footprint.  This is another example of how this wonderful plant can help save reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  Recently we brought you the news that Hanes – one of the worlds biggest consumer brands – has been investing in a new hemp technology called Crailar which requires only a fraction of the water needed to make cotton; and we are very happy to announce that it is the subject of another of our articles, a Dutch company called Hempflax who has won the contract to supply the raw materials to Hanes – i.e. the HEMP!

Here’s the press release:

Houses made of hemp, timber or straw could help combat climate change by reducing the carbon footprint of building construction, according to researchers at the University of Bath.

Currently the construction industry is a major contributor of environmental pollutants, with buildings and other build infrastructure contributing to around 19% of the UK’s eco-footprint.  Researchers at the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials are researching low carbon alternatives to building materials currently used by the construction industry.  Although timber is used as a building material in many parts of the world, historically it is used less in the UK than in other countries. Researchers at the Centre are developing new ways of using timber and other crop-based materials such as hemp, natural fibre composites and straw bales. Their work using straw bales as a building material has already been featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs series.

Professor Peter Walker, Director of the Centre, is leading the research. He said: “The environmental impact of the construction industry is huge. For example, it is estimated that worldwide the manufacture of cement contributes up to ten per cent of all industrial carbon dioxide emissions.  “We are looking at a variety of low carbon building materials including crop-based materials, innovative uses of traditional materials and developing low carbon cements and concretes to reduce impact of new infrastructure. As well as reducing the environmental footprint, many low carbon building materials offer other benefits, including healthier living through higher levels of thermal insulation and regulation of humidity levels.”

Their research is being presented at the Sustainable Energy & the Environment showcase at the University of Bath.  The exhibition will be opened by David Willetts MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities & Skills, and will be attended by industrialists, research councils, local and national government representatives and other key stakeholders from across the South West.  The exhibition coincides with the launch of the Institute for Sustainable Energy & the Environment (I-SEE) at the University of Bath, which will bring together experts from diverse fields of science, engineering, social policy and economics to tackle the problems of climate change.

Read the rest of this entry »








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