January 20, 2018

Former Dutch Prime Minister has his first joint

Filed under: Dutch first,Health,History by Orangemaster @ 12:33 pm

Dries van Agt, 86, served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from late 1977 until late 1982. Of all his achievements, the one that stands out for many is the introduction of ‘turning a blind eye’ (in Dutch, ‘gedoogbeleid’) to the use of marijuana and hash 42 years ago as of January 17, 2017, which was a world’s first.

Van Agt was Justice Minister before he was PM, and together with Irene Vorrink the Minister of Health at the time, they are the reason why the world assumes pot is legal in the Netherlands when it fact, it is absolutely not. They are also the reason why the Dutch have been making a distinction between soft drugs and hard drugs since 1976.

In November 2009 Van Agt received the Cannabis Culture Award of the Hash, Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam, but this week he was awarded the Koos Zwart Award in Tilburg, an annual award given to people who have been instrumental in moving towards legalisation and normalisation of cannabis in the Netherlands. The award is named after hash activist Koos Zwart who died in 2014 and who happens to be Irene Vorrink’s son. The former premier held a speech in 2016 at the Cannabis Liberation Day in Amsterdam to plead for the legalisation of marijuana.

And on January 17, Van Agt smoked his first ever joint (pic).

(Link: www.vice.com)

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July 15, 2015

Artists funded to sow pot seeds in Amsterdam

Filed under: Nature,Weird by Orangemaster @ 1:28 pm

The Amsterdam chapter of the Awesome Foundation that awards people money every month to realize ‘awesome initiatives that solve problems or bring joy to the world’ has given art collective Indebt Studios 1000 euro to plant marijuana seeds around town.

The group bought some 40 kilos of cannabis seeds and planted them in all kinds of green spaces in Amsterdam, from flower pots to community gardens, including the ones at the Rijksmuseum.

Why plant 40 kilos of weed? It’s an artistic statement against the increased stamping up of Amsterdam’s wild side, like trying to shut down prostitutes, coffee shops and all the things that make Amsterdam what it is in the first place. “Yoghurt bars are not going to make up for the loss, and that’s sad,” one of the guys said. Big cities like New York and London are losing or have lost their edge, and yes it would be sad if Amsterdam lost its grit, too.

(Link: nieuws.nl)

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March 9, 2015

Weed-flavoured ice cream sold in Wageningen

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 12:38 pm

Besides pistachio, Antonio ice cream parlours in Ede and Wageningen are also selling ‘perfectly legal’ cannabis-flavoured ice cream imported from Italy. Owner Antonio Mulder says that it tastes like caramel and is made with cannabis seeds.

Like many other weed-flavoured Dutch products such as weed sauce for fries, it’s more about the idea of flirting with an illegal substance than hoping it could get you high.

Mulder adds that it’s probably not a good idea to suggest this flavour of ice cream to children, as it is more of a gimmick than anything else.

(Link: www.waarmaarraar.nl,
Photo by Eric Caballero, some rights reserved)

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October 21, 2014

Historical verdict in weed growers’ case

Filed under: Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 1:56 pm

The court of Groningen handed down a ‘historical verdict’ last Thursday by refusing to punish two cannabis growers who ‘safely and responsibly’ carry out their work, only selling to coffee shops and even paying taxes. While the court found the growers guilty of cultivating weed, it refused to punish them for doing so, underlying the Dutch hypocrisy of punishing ‘the back door’ while turning a blind eye to selling through ‘the front door’. Weed sold in coffee shops is ‘tolerated’ and still illegal, but it continues to be supplied illegally, which is often challenged.

“Coffee shops must supply themselves and so cultivation must be done to satisfy these demands,” the Groningen court said, “but the law does not state how this supply should be done.” What growers do is illegal, but allowing the sale of cannabis since 1976 in coffee shops is very hypocritical and blatantly encourages crime.

The government enjoys the tax money it gets from legitimate businesses like coffee shops, and now the back door has now been left open. Other growers could also soon go unpunished, en route to the legal supply of cannabis for coffee shops.

(Links: phys.org, www.voc-nederland.org)

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October 15, 2013

The country’s first cannabis club challenged by government

Filed under: Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 7:03 pm

Utrecht has become the first Dutch city to set up a cannabis growers’ club for recreational use. The Social Cannabis Club Domstad has been officially registered so that a small group of approved growers can cultivate marijuana under the supervision of the local authority.

The municipal council has asked the Ministry of Justice to give the club an exemption from the opium law, similar to those granted to producers of medicinal cannabis, but justice minister Ivo Opstelten has said he is opposed to local councils authorising the cultivation of cannabis and threatened to take action against Utrecht if it goes ahead with the plan.

It remains odd that marijuana is still illegal, but that licensed coffeeshops are allowed to sell small quantities on their premises under strict conditions. The thing is, their supply isn’t regulated and is still criminal, but this would finally be an attempt at knowing where the pot actually comes from for a change. This don’t ask, don’t tell policy is what keeps this entire pot business a shady one.

(Links: www.amsterdamherald.com, www.destadutrecht.nl,
Photo by Eric Caballero, some rights reserved)

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October 3, 2013

Drug sniffing dog finds stash of cash instead of drugs

Filed under: Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am

Last week during a major traffic check on a motorway in Emmen near the German border 191,000 euro was found in the roof of a car. A 33-year-old male driver whose car reeked of marijuana was pulled over and searched by a drug sniffing dog. The traffic check was a joint operation of the Dutch cops, German cops, royal marshals, tax office and border guards.

Instead of finding what could have been marijuana, the Dutch cops found 191,000 euros stashed in the roof of the guy’s car. It was later confirmed that the man had been suspected of money laundering. He’s already walking around free, but he’s still a suspect.

All I can say is if you’re going to try not to attract attention to yourself for money laundering and then hide the money in your car, smoking dope in your car is akin to having a sign on the side of it that says “hi, the money is in here, please pull me over”.

(Link: crimesite.nl)

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April 11, 2013

Cooking with weed becomes fashionable and mainstream

Filed under: Fashion,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 3:16 pm

Well-known snack bar Manneken Pis on the Damrak, the first main street any tourist sees when they exit Amsterdam Central Station to walk towards the Palace, has started offering fries with a marijuana sauce as of today. Weed is usually quite pungent in food, which is why people put it in creamy or buttery substances, as it is not the easiest thing to cook with or digest for that matter. Yes, it can provide a very decent, slow buzz, thanks for asking.

Also in weed-related cooking, Dutch clothing company FreshCotton got the Arnold Amsterdam agency to produce a drug-based cookbook to promote the new range of Stüssy Amsterdam tees. “The cookbook, which references Amsterdam’s tolerance towards narcotics, demonstrates how to create dishes (very short video) using high-end ingredients and drugs – like marijuana and magic mushrooms – that can be legally obtained in the Netherlands.” It also contains some men’s fashion.

(Link: www.amsterdamfm.nl, www.campaignlive.co.uk)

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September 19, 2012

Weed grower electrocuted in neighbour’s crawlspace

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 12:58 pm

Two weeks ago a man from De Meern near Utrecht was found dead in the crawlspace of his neighbour’s house.

According to the Utrecht police, the 46-year-old had electrocuted himself trying to steal his neighbour’s electricity. He had dug a tunnel underneath the foundation of both houses. The police had to cut out the neighbour’s floor to retrieve the corpse, which they believe had been lying there for no more than a day.

Parool adds that the man was a marijuana grower, which would explain why he had been looking for ways to lower his electricity bills, as weed growers use high powered lamps.

Earlier this year a 23-year-old weed grower from Oss in Noord Brabant was also electrocuted while working in his marijuana nursery.

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September 5, 2012

Mayor of Maastricht does 180 on weed pass

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 9:04 pm

This April we announced the coming of the weed pass for NL residents only, supposed to deter cross border drug buying in the southern provinces of Limburg, Brabant and Zeeland. The weed pass will be introduced in the rest of the country as of January 2013, and Amsterdam is already gearing up for some sort of a fight.

The mayor of Maastricht, Onno Hoes, was a big fan of introducing the pass until this week. He now believes that coffeeshops shouldn’t be members only clubs, saying people are now avoiding coffeeshops.

You don’t say! Creating a database of weed smokers is not only awkward for the smokers, but it is a hassle and a half for coffeeshop owners. I know this for a fact, as I tried to buy a joint recently in the South to see how that went. Oh, and you don’t get a pass, what’s that all about, man.

First of all, besides meeting friendly all-female staff, they did need to see some ID and not any kind of letter stating where I actually lived. Second, besides telling me which parties I should vote for in the upcoming election with regard to the weed pass, they showed me their membership administration: a bunch of recipe cards in a box, nothing digital. They said if the cops come in, they need to be able to show their membership. I guess if it’s on a computer, you can’t produce it as quickly as with a rolodex, but that all sounds very shifty to me.

Someone else also said that forcing the south to follow the law, while other provinces don’t have to abide by that same law just yet isn’t really fair, either.

This story is far from over as it’s a matter of time before smart people from Amsterdam will figure out a way to buy weed for tourists and make a killing from it.

(Link: www.nu.nl)

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April 27, 2012

Weed pass kicks in 1 May, for NL residents only

Filed under: Dutch first,General by Orangemaster @ 3:41 pm

Some 19 coffee shops and several interest groups went to court to fight the government’s plan to introduce a ‘weed pass’ to prevent foreigners (actually, non-residents of the Netherlands) to buy marijuana at coffee shops and lost. The weed pass will come into force on 1 May in the southern provinces and eventually be rolled out throughout the country. The lawyers representing the coffee shops plan to appeal the decision, and even the Mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard Van der Laan is opposed to the pass and wants to work out a compromise.

Besides the fact that coffee shops in big cities are major tourist attractions, they felt they were being forced to discriminate against certain clients, as a weed pass can only be obtained in the city where one resides. Collecting personal information about clients brings up a lot of privacy issues as well.

The original plan was to stop drug tourism in border regions like in Maastricht, but that doesn’t apply at all to cities like Amsterdam. Coffee shops will basically become private clubs with membership open only to Dutch residents and limited to 2,000 per shop.

Discriminating between EU citizens on the basis of where they live is apparently illegal, making coffee shop owners responsible for drug enforcement sound like a burden, and who’s to stop me for going into a coffee shop and buying joints for somebody else? I don’t see the point of this, besides the government owning a database of people who smoke marijuana. I think drug dealers will make a small fortune selling bad quality weed to tourists and I don’t see how that looks like stopping criminality.

In the mean time, the people who can’t be bothered to get a pass down south will buy their drugs up north or start growing more of their own, which is perfectly OK as long as it’s limited to a few plants.

And for the record, smoking marijuana is illegal in the Netherlands, but it is tolerated.

Here’s a famous Dutch song about ‘nederwiet’ (Dutch weed) by megastars Doe Maar:

(Links: www.coffeeshopnieuws.nl, www.nu.nl, Photo of Joint by Torben Bjørn Hansen, some rights reserved)

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