Through the generosity of our International Affiliates, VOC Nederland , we traveled to Europe in June to attend the 10th Cannabis Liberation Day in Amsterdam’s legendary Flevo Park. Throughout our 8 years of activism and hosting events we have dreamed of just rocking up at a weed party and being handed the microphone! This is what happened as we greeted the crowd from the stage on a sunny Sunday. People overseas love hearing stories from South Africa and we hope that the Dutch people felt the warmth of the connection between our two countries, given our chequered history.
This free event was lined with market stalls selling every conceivable ganja gizmo and gadget. Edibles and seeds, tons of info and free swag. Legendary Dutch food and really good coffee but no alcohol on sale. People were welcome to bring picnics and their own beer. As you can imagine for a “Saving Our Cannabis Culture” event, the vibe was great but also very well-rounded. The Cannabis University tent, hosted by our affiliates Cannabis News Network, was packed all day presenting talks, panel discussions and master classes. We were humbled to be in the presence of legends. Master grower Ed Rosenthal, Hemp guru Doug Fine, Canadian “overgrow the government” activist Dana Larsen, dynamic UN & WHO soldier for our rights Kenzi Riboulet-Zimouli, Sensi Seeds founder Ben Dronkers among others. We hung around like groupies getting books signed and championed the cause of our traditional cultivators and healers in a panel discussion. The title was “Fighting for Drug Peace across the Globe” and the questions afterwards were insightful and showed many people’s interest in SA.
Sadly we heard on the day that this was to be the last Cannabis Liberation Day. The organisers feel that their energy will be better spent fighting the anomalies in the “less than perfect” Dutch Cannabis laws. Despite the ubiquitous coffee shops, event organiser and VOC Nederland chairperson Derek Bergman explained on Twitter: “You probably know the only thing that is legal in the Netherlands is use by adults. About a 1000 people get evicted from their homes every year because they grow cannabis. And about 80% of the weed sold in our coffeeshops has pesticides. Lab testing is still prohibited for shops.” The famous grey areas are alive and well and Dutch traders and farmers never really know where they stand. We wish our friends well and thank them on behalf of our supporters for sponsoring our adventure and putting South Africa on the map.
Special shout out goes to the amazing Fields of Green for ALL crew who held the fort while we were away. Things never slow down in the FGA office and we appreciate the help. Remember that you can contact us at any time with questions (Read our FAQ page FIRST) or if you need help with legal issues.
Myrtle & Jules x