Copenhagen plans for legal cannabis!

24 11 2011

Copenhagen aerial byThe Copenhagen City Council want (yet again) take control of the Danish marijuana market! A market with an annual worth of 1.5 billion kroner, or 200 million euros.
Copenhagen Social Affairs Head Councillor Mikkel Warming said the new proposal is to completely legalize the sale of cannabis, in contrast to the Dutch model which tolerates but doesn’t control or regulate sales, and makes no provision for production or supply of cannabis to coffeeshops. The Danish capital sees the paradox in this approach – it’s hard not to – and instead plans to legalize and regulate the entire process.

” Who is it better for youngsters to buy marijuana from?”

They want to create stores where vendors are not interested in making money, but in their customers, Mikkel said. ” Who is it better for youngsters to buy marijuana from? A drug pusher, who wants them to use more, who wants them to buy hard drugs, or a civil servant?”

Turning ‘going to score drugs’ into something as exciting as visiting a council-run café should also deter adolescents from beginning to use cannabis while still too young, although this hasn’t been mentioned by the Head Councillor.

The council voted on the proposal, with the support of Mayor Frank Jensen, on Thursday 17th November 2011 and it was approved by a significant majority: 39 votes in favour and only 9 against. The next step is the creation of a committee to explore possible ways to legalize and control the sale of cannabis in state-run shops or cafés.
Their findings will then be presented to the Danish parliament, which currently seems more open to finding a better approach to cannabis than a prohibitionist, outdated, and inefficient system.

The Danish capital has actually hosted an alternative since 1971 as it is home to Christiania, a neighborhood with a self-proclaimed independent status where the sale of marijuana and hash takes place daily. Christiania’s famous ‘Pusher Street’ could soon become a lot quieter if the civil servants do decide to corner the Danish cannabis market!





Cannabis Cultuurprijs (cannabis culture award)

13 11 2009

Cannabis Cultuurprijs 2009

The Cannabis Cultuurprijs 2009, now in its sixth year, is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions towards the acceptance of cannabis in all its forms and to the reintegration of marihuana and hemp culture into modern society.

At a time when ‘zero tolerance’ is replacing the ‘tolerance policy’ it is more important than ever to acknowledge those who have made a genuine difference to the perception and use of this unfairly maligned plant.

Though other prizes exist in the sphere of cannabis and hemp, only the Cannabis Cultuurprijs celebrates improvements to quality of life and knowledge in quite this way.

The prize itself promotes the achievements of the winner: a unique exhibit dedicated to each one is created for public viewing. Displays honoring previous winners Jack Herer and Ed Rosenthal are on show in the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum. Last year’s winner, the late Simon Vinkenoog, is represented in the Hemp Gallery.

A monetary award of €3000 is also presented. It is independently funded and therefore free from political influence.

Update:

The Cannabis Culture Award was previously known as the Cannabis Cultuur Prijs and was initiated in 2004 by philanthropist Ben Dronkers in order to honor and reward people who have made outstanding contributions to the world of hemp and cannabis.

For more information about this year’s ceremony, please visit http://hashmuseum.com/cannabis-culture-awards .





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.





the “War on drugs” was lost a long time ago..

29 07 2008

Illicit substances have been in demand here for at least 350 years; no legal measures have ever made a difference, writes Fintan O’Toole

EVERY TIME gardaí make a big drug seizure – and there have been plenty of them recently – they must have mixed feelings. On the one hand, there is another victory in the “war on drugs”. Good police work seems to be getting results. On the other hand, though, everyone – especially gardaí – knows that however many battles are won, the war was lost a long time ago. The reality is that the amount of seizures is largely a function of the amount of drugs being imported; that when one gang is broken, there will always be another hungrier, more vicious one ready to step into the breach; and that for all the millions spent here and the trillions spent worldwide, illegal drugs are cheaper and more ubiquitous than they have ever been.

The real issue is, of course, demand. If people want mind-altering substances, there will be big money in supplying them. We lose sight of this reality because we have a distorted narrative in our heads. The story we assume to be true is that, while Irish people always drank alcohol and took enthusiastically to tobacco, illegal drugs are essentially a recent phenomenon. They came in during and after the 1960s, along with all the other moral and social laxities of that decade. They are an outside influence, a downside to the modernity that we adopted. They cling, therefore, to the surface of Irish culture and can, with enough persistence, be scraped off.

It is weird that we should think this, because there are few western European societies in which the consumption of illegal, mind-altering substances was so open, and so socially acceptable for so long. I doubt that there are many readers who haven’t drunk, or been present when others drank, the primary Irish illegal drug of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is called poteen. How odd that we forget about it, and forget, too, that 400 years of law enforcement failed to stop people making and drinking it.

Poteen became prominent in Irish society after 1661, when excise duty on Irish whiskey was re-introduced. As duty went up and the price of “parliament whiskey” rose, the native Irish responded by making their own alcohol. Originally, this was generally decent malt whiskey. But as time went on, poteen developed in a way that we are familiar with from cocaine or heroin. With a thriving, unregulated trade in which price was the key factor, poteen makers turned to whatever was available – molasses, sugar, treacle, potatoes, rhubarb. The more unscrupulous of them added bite to an adulterated product with meths or paint stripper.

The stuff became dangerous, unreliable and of often poor quality. The authorities came down heavy, sending armed soldiers against the distillers. Illegal distillers were shot, imprisoned, transported. None of it made a blind bit of difference.

Neither did the threats of the IRA in the early 1920s or the creation of a native government. The “war on poteen”, as we might call it, continued in the 1930s, during which there were 500 stills detected every year by the Garda. But it was social change – emigration, relative prosperity, urbanisation – and cheaper official whiskey, that eventually killed the poteen trade. It was not law enforcement.

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