New agreement on “state weed”

—- No stock limit for coffeeshops and no THC limit for customers during the experiment. The test will even be extended if proven successful. But the end goal is still the creation of a nation-wide, closed supply chain which will only provide so-called ‘state weed’. —-

The Dutch coalition parties have reached an agreement about an experiment with legal, government controlled cannabis. As planned earlier, six to ten municipalities will be conducting trials, but an additional six to ten municipalities are used as a ‘control group’. Moreover, the test can be extended if it proves successful.

During the trial, the coffeeshops involved will be allowed to have a larger trade stock (of marijuana cultivated by the state) than the current maximum of 500 grams. There will be a choice of different types of weed for customers to choose from and there will be no limit to the amount of thc, the active substance in cannabis. Should the experiment be a success, it can be extended.

A control group has also been added to the experiment. It consists of tolerated coffeeshops in the vicinity of the municipalities involved. The same measurements are made at these shops. On the basis of this so-called zero measurement, it can then be concluded whether the test with state weed was successful.

The decision is politically sensitive. The two christian democratic parties that are part of the current coalition agreed with a limited variant, which ten municipalities would participate in. But a research committee headed by Professor André Knottnerus ruled that this group would be too small for a ‘sufficiently representative survey’. The government should keep the experiment in ‘considerably more’ municipalities than the coalition agreement says.

The Committee also concluded that if the trial is a success, a national introduction of ‘state cannabis’ should be considered. The Cabinet does not want to do so for the time being, but the possibility to extend the trial does leave the door open.

Advice to Dutch Government: Expand cannabis experiment

Cannabis Bevrijdingsdag 2018

More participating municipalities, several growers involved and no limits to the strength of the weed. According to the specially appointed advisory committee, Commision-Knottnerus,  the government must broaden the experiment with controlled cannabis cultivation and supply for recreational use.

The Committee has examined the planned cannabis experiment in recent months and is currently issuing it’s advice. This states that the experiment should take place in “significantly more” municipalities than the six to ten that the government has now established. According to the committee, it is important for the value of the experiment, that large and small municipalities across the country participate in the trial. The weed experiment will take four years. During this period, cannabis can be produced in certain municipalities and also be delivered to coffeeshops.

The plan is to evaluate the experiment after four years and then, over a period of six months, return to the present situation. After the completion everything would be as before. Christian parties have forced this point as they fear the experiment will quietly become standard practice. But the committee thinks it is “illogical and risky” and wants to be able to extend the trial if it is successful. According to the committee it would also be “unethical” to have sales outlets operate legally for four years only to have them return to clandestine operations for supply at the end of that period. The Committee advises the government to make it clear in advance that upon a succesful completion of the experiment, the aim is to “implement the closed, regulated cannabis chain nationally”.

 

[photo from debate during Cannabis Bevrijdingsdag 2018]

Exhibition: We are Mary Jane: Women of Cannabis

This summer, until september 23, you can enjoy the exhibition ‘We are Mary Jane: Women of Cannabis’ at the Amsterdam Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum.

The exhibition explores the role of women in the world of cannabis. From prehistoric times to the present day, the Museum pays tribute to the often overlooked female contribution in the history of the world’s most versatile plant.

‘We are Mary Jane’ highlights the extraordinary women who have shaped the modern cannabis world, and shows how women are advancing the industry today.

Address of the Museum: Oudezijds Achterburgwal 130, Amsterdam

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Ten Summer Fun Things to do when you are Stoned in Amsterdam

Over the Edge
‘Over the Edge’ is Europe’s highest swing on our sky deck. Daredevils and thrill seekers will swing 100 meters above the ground. The swing is part of the A’dam Lookout experience.
Back and forth over the edge of the tower with Amsterdam below your feet. Enjoy the unrivalled view over our capital city, while the adrenaline flows through your body.
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Amsterdam Summer Festivals 2018
Going to a festival is a favorite getaway of Amsterdammers. The Amsterdam festivals attract many visitors from home and abroad.
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Vondelpark Open Air Theater (free)
From May through September every year, the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre presents a programme packed with festivals, dance, music, cabaret,…
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Artis Zoo (summer Saturdays open until sunset)
On Saturday evenings throughout summer, party animals in Amsterdam’s Artis Royal Zoo gather expectantly in their enclosures as the ZOOmeravonden (summer evenings) let visitors learn what the animals get up to after hours by staying open until sunset on every Saturday in June, July and August
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De Parade Theater Festival (August 17-September 2)
The Parade travelling theatre festival returns every summer to tour the Netherlands with a rich array of artistic surprises in tow. The festival rolls into Amsterdam’s Martin Luther Kingpark in August.
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Canal Cruising
Besides providing a stunning backdrop to the city’s historic centre, Amsterdam’s canals offer one of the most memorable ways to discover the city. Whether you’re a first-time or frequent visitor, everything in Amsterdam seems that little bit more magical when viewed from a boat.
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Free Ferry to NDSM in Amsterdam-Noord
Pioneers are giving shape to NDSM. A place where ship workers, artists, media makers, performers and young entrepreneurs are each making their unique mark.
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Amsterdam Parks
There are about 30 parks in Amsterdam, ranging from Wertheimpark which covers one hectare, to the fabulous Vondelpark which covers 48 hectares. The number of parks makes Amsterdam a peaceful oasis even on a busy day.
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Swimming – Pools, Beaches and Canals
Amsterdam has many public indoor- and outdoor swimming pools, officially approved natural spots, and a good number of ‘wild swimming’ locations,  perfect for picnics along with a refreshing dive or swim.
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When it’s warm outside, a lot of people enjoy swimming in ponds, lakes and rivers. The best place to go swimming is in the designated swimming spots where people can swim in safe and clean water.
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Free Lunchtime Concerts – Het Concert Gebouw
For many years now, free Lunchtime Concerts have been held in the Main Hall and the Recital Hall. Usually, these Lunchtime Concerts take place on Wednesdays, but please check the concert schedule as occasionally this changes. The concerts range from public rehearsals by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, to chamber music performances by young up-and-coming artists.
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Cannabis Liberation Day 2018

Come and celebrate the tenth anniversary of Cannabis Liberation Day with us on Sunday, June 17 in Flevopark, Amsterdam.

Cannabis Liberation Day highlights international cannabis culture and argues in favor of tolerance and broad use of hemp as a sustainable raw material and counteracts criminalization of the plant, cannabis consumers, coffeeshops and growers.

New at Cannabis Liberation Day this year is the ‘Cannabis Olympics’. There are ‘five playful games, including Bungee Run and Stonede Stormbaan [stoner obstacle course]’. The first 500 participants win a ‘cannabis medal’.

As usual access is free. Check www.cannabisliberationday.org for details.

Exhibition ‘Cannabis Cuisine’ at Hash Museum Amsterdam

Everyone knows you can eat cannabis. Space cake from Amsterdam coffeeshops is world-famous, but did you know life expectancy of residents in the Chinese town of Bama Yao is well above 100? Scientists believe the secret behind this long lifespan has something to do with their diet, which contains a lot of hemp seeds.

Although the cannabis sativa is mainly known for its flowers, which can be smoked, it is also proving to be a versatile source of nutrition. Nowadays, hemp seeds are available at any supermarket and in recent years, CBD oil has been on the rise as a nutritional supplement. In the exhibition Cannabis Cuisine (1 December 2017 – 25 February 2018), the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam explores the history of cannabis in nutrition, lists the healthy qualities of hemp and follows the latest trends in high cuisine.

Address: Oudezijds Achterburgwal 130, Amsterdam

Cars and Cannabis

Since July of this year Dutch police have been using a new saliva test to target cannabis users in traffic. This test is the first of its kind to be implemented in the Netherlands.

Cannabis remains active in the body for only four hours, but after 14 hours it’s still possible to test positive in a field sobriety examination. The consequences can be substantial. In the worst case scenario, you can lose your driving license for a year and a half.

To inform the public about these new developments, a group of Dutch coffeeshops have launched a campaign, not so much intended to warn about using cannabis while driving, but more about the consequences of this test. All coffeeshops in the Netherlands have received flyers and posters explaining the current sutuation

New Government Won’t Legalize Weed, But Is Willing To Experiment

After decades of discussion about the cannabis tolerance policy, the next cabinet plans an experiment with government-regulated cultivation of weed and hash.

Six to ten Dutch towns and cities may participate in the test. The coffeeshops in those municipalities will be provided weed from selected producers, under government supervision.

Currently, the sale of weed is permitted by coffeeshops, but the purchase and production are not allowed.

The coalition says its goal is to see if the regulation of the cultivation of cannabis reduces nuisance and crime. Also the regulated weed could have less harmful substances than illegally grown weed, according to RTL News.

 

[picture: Dumpert]

Budget Space-Cake

Amsterdam can be damn expensive, so for those wishing to get high on a budget we suggest homemade space cake.

Step 1: Do some research. If you have not tried smoking cannabis before, please do not dive straight into making your own space cake. Edibles purchased at a Coffeeshop are made with a strict and precise dose, so for first timers we recommend space cake from a coffeeshop.

Step 2: Get some soft blond hash, or the least expensive ‘soft’ hash available, avoid black hash, it sticks to your teeth easily.

Step 3: Purchase your favorite chocolate or museli bar for around 1 euro or less.

Step 4: Taking care, split the candy bar in half using a knife or your fingers, if possible.

Step 5: Sprinkle the hashish on half the candy bar. (Coffeeshops generally put 0.3 grams into space cakes, aim for a similar amount.

Step 6: Enjoy the journey, and please remember to keep something sweet on your person, in case you get too high and wish to maintain a lower altitude.

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Birth Of The Coffeeshops

[…] I’ve always been fascinated by the origins of the cannabis tolerance movement in Amsterdam and the Netherlands. How did this happen? How did this little country develop the most intelligent approach to marijuana smoking in the entire world?

At the same time that Holland launched its tolerance campaign, we passed local legislation in Ann Arbor, East Lansing and Ypsilanti that limited marijuana crime punishment to a $5 fine, but our movement never went any further than that until medical marijuana was legalized in 2008.

Amsterdam and the Netherlands went on to establish a system that allowed hundreds of coffeeshops to serve marijuana and hashish smokers for what’s turned out to be almost 50 years.

Here’s how the Anne Bonney, writer of Cannabis in Holland—an Introduction: A Book of Cannabis Truths, says it happened.

HASH HITS EUROPE

     Along with the political and social unrest of the 1960’s came a huge explosion in the use of Cannabis and psychedelics. Another part of the cultural upheaval was travel.

Many young Europeans left the comforts of home or university to travel to the exotic East. In those days the world political situation was such that one could drive (or in some cases, hitchhike) from Europe to Tangiers, Delhi or Kabul and many did.

On their travels the young adventurers adopted many foreign practices—from meditation to vegetarianism and hashish smoking. Soon large quantities of hashish began to find their way back to Western Europe, with Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Copenhagen and other cities becoming consumption and distribution centers.

THE COFFEESHOPS ARE BORN

     By the early 1970’s there was widespread use of Cannabis, speed, heroin, LSD and other recreational drugs presenting various degrees of health risks to Dutch citizens….

The then Minister of Health and Interior, Irene Vorink….concluded that Cannabis was considerably less harmful than the other drugs….Vorink saw that the most common way for Cannabis users to be introduced to drugs “harder” than Cannabis was by the drug sellers themselves.

She took the step of recommending that the authorities stop prosecuting people for the consumption and sales of personal amounts of Cannabis. She then set up a system where access was provided to cannabis in a controlled setting. To do this, she took advantage of existing youth centers as places to permit the sales of small amounts of hashish and marijuana….

The basic concept of the coffeeshop as a place to buy and smoke Cannabis, hang out, have a (non-alcoholic) drink, chat or play a game, has been around since 1971.

That was when the first youth hostel started ignoring smoking and small-scale dealing. It was the government-tolerated selling and smoking in youth centers that provided the model for the coffeeshops of today.

Mila Jansen started a teahouse where people hung out, drank tea and smoked a nice spliff. The first joints were handed out for free as an extra with your cup of tea. Also, people from other countries brought back hashish and other products, so they could trade products with each other.

In 1973, Wernard and three friends opened a small “Tea House” called Mellow Yellow where a single “house-dealer” sold pre-bagged hash and grass from behind the bar rather than the old style where the house simply allowed deals and smoking to go on. Mellow Yellow also sold tea and coffee and had a table football game.

In 1974 Henk de Vries opened the Bulldog Coffeeshop, soon to become world famous, and openly sold hash [as] the first business to use the name “coffeeshop.”
[Note: The coffeeshops proliferated for 20 years until there were 750 or so in the city of Amsterdam alone by 1994, when the federal government began its campaign to regulate and control the traffic in Cannabis, demanding that coffeeshops apply for a license and adhere to the government’s coffeeshop rules:]

THE COFFEESHOP RULES (since 1996)

1. No advertising, including no Cannabis leaf motif in the window or on the sign.
2. No hard drugs, no buying, no selling, no possession, by owner, staff or clients.
3. No public nuisance.
4. No sale of more than five grams to any client on any day.
5. No minors. This means persons under 18.

If shop owners play by these five rules, the government will “turn a blind eye” to the fact that the business sells Cannabis. If any of the five rules are broken, then the shop owner becomes liable for a violation of the Cannabis laws [and subject to loss of license, criminal charges, and/or other punitive measures].

So those are the actual facts of the cannabis issue in Amsterdam and how it sank its roots into the general culture to insure that smokers would be able to get their sacrament. Now let’s have some coffeeshops in Michigan!

Here’s one last little factoid from the Cannabis and Coffeeshops pamphlet: Americans are generally fascinated by the way the Dutch, the British and Europeans in general mix tobacco with their weed before lighting up. I always thought this was because they started out on hashish and smoked it in a mixture with tobacco to keep the flame going. Then weed became available in the 1970s and 80s in large quantities and soon Europeans were smoking 2 grams of marijuana to each gram of hash while using the same mixture concept.

But, as the Grow Grrrlzzz point out, “At first, tobacco was a rare and special imported product, available only to the rich. The seeds were hard to find, of doubtful quality and nobody knew where or how to grow it in Europe. Eventually tobacco became available to enough people that the entire nation [of Holland] took up the craze.

“So, the frugal Dutch began stretching their expensive imported tobacco with the leaves and flowers of their hennep plants by the mid-1500s.” Wow. Free The Weed!

(excerpt from  John Sinclair‘s column FREE THE WEED 70. All Rights Reserved.)