If you are planning to visit Amsterdam in 2013 you should try to visit the 5th Annual Cannabis Liberation Day, on Sunday June 16th. It is free admission at the Westergasfabriek Culture Park. There will be live music, plenty of food, craft shops, a Hemp Market and all the usual alternative lifestyle art and craft vendors. Of course there will also be plenty of top quality cannabis, it is most definitely business as usual in Amsterdam and the coffee shops are open and as busy as ever. Dutch Passion are proud sponsors of the 2013 Cannabis Liberation Day.
The whole event is organised by the VOC. The VOC are the Dutch ‘umbrella’ organisation which help represent and encourage all the various cannabis law reform groups. They are a Dutch alliance for the abolition of the prohibition of cannabis. According to the VOC these are the 18 most important problems caused as a direct result of the prohibition of cannabis. A couple of these are specific to The Netherlands, but everyone can relate to most of them
- The prohibition of cannabis allows an illegal cannabis market to flourish with no controls. This allows criminal involvement, unsafe practices and social annoyance. Minors are guaranteed easy access to cannabis.
- The ban on cannabis guarantees huge profits on large crops for criminal gangs. The money is often used for other criminal activities or laundered illegally which disturbs the legal economy.
- The ban on cannabis allows criminal and anti social behaviour to increase. Conflicts are often resolved with violence, security and safety rules are ignored.
- The ban on cannabis causes the price of it to increase, this creates greater profits for criminals and attracts increased criminality
- Prohibition of cannabis attracts tourists to coffeeshops near Dutch borders and encourages drug smugglers.
- The ban on cannabis puts enormous pressure on the police and judiciary who should be spending the time on more important issues. The personal freedoms of citizens are in conflict with the law
- Prohibition of cannabis has great financial cost which is not justified by the results. Prohibition is never questioned even though the objective (reducing supply and demand for cannabis) has clearly failed.
- The ban on cannabis damages the credibility of the government, since the widespread social and medical use of cannabis is already established, and has been for many decades.
- The (global) ban on cannabis is one of the pillars of the US-dominated "War on Drugs". This has led to extensive human rights violations across the world and harmed the environment and the livelihoods of people in cannabis/drug producing countries
- The ban on cannabis impedes industrial uses of the hemp plant, which is an important contribution to a sustainable future.
- The ban on cannabis makes it impossible to carry out a standardized check on the product. This means there is no regulation regarding cannabis quality, it’s safety nor is there any detailed information on the cannabis being sold and used .
- Prohibition of cannabis leads to undesirable practices in the cultivation and processing that reduce the quality of the product and risks the health of the consumer
- The ban on cannabis criminalizes the cannabis consumer (over one million Dutch citizens), with negative social consequences for the individuals concerned, their relationships and their families, their careers and their living environment.
- Cannabis prohibition is a restriction of the right to free speech. The prohibition legitimizes information about the supposed evils of cannabis. This allows the assumption that the misinformation and scare-stories about cannabis are true. This in turn serves justification for active and unfair enforcement of cannabis prohibition.
- Cannabis prohibition violates the right of everyone to decide what is suitable for their own body
- Cannabis prohibition violates the right of everyone to have access to a valuable natural medicine for their health and well-being.
- The ban on cannabis and the legitimized misinformation scares doctors from prescribing to patients who may benefit from the effects of cannabis. Prohibition also slows down the medical research into important applications in HIV / AIDS, MS, cancer and chronic pain.
- Cannabis prohibition deprives the government the ability to tax and regulate it.
Cannabis Liberation Day 2012 - relaxing fun for all
More progress has been made against the prohibition of cannabis in the last few years than in the previous decades. More importantly the rate of change is gathering pace and this has been a great encouragement to legalization campaigners across the world. Countries all over the world are now realising that prohibition has been an expensive and ineffective waste of money. It is no longer political suicide to question whether current drug policies are effective. Medical research into the use of cannabis has never been as focussed as it is today. Even the Americans are starting to legalize pot and those nations that have stood in isolation against cannabis are realising they need to review their prohibition of cannabis.
Cannabis remains one of the safest and most effective natural medicines on planet earth. The prohibition of cannabis has been a ridiculous political mistake which has scarred millions of people over many decades, a trillion dollar failure. Now a new wind is blowing and cannabis campaigners have every reason to feel optimistic. The prohibition of cannabis does not have long left.
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March 29th 2013