by Olivier on 15/08/2018 | Cultural

Cannabis Liberation Day 2018 interviews: Where are we and where are we going?

Cannabis Liberation Day 2018 The Cannabis Liberation Day is now history. In June, cannabis lovers from all around the world met for the last time in the Flevopark. There was dancing, laughter and fun. Plenty of passionate discussion too. We would like to take a few moments to recall once more the many discussions held on the stage.

As always, the main stage, which featured music and speakers from the Netherlands and abroad, was the core of the Cannabis Liberation Day, but the white tent on the field next to it also had some things to offer.

This was the Cannabis University and it offered a series of debates, interviews and master classes. Well-known personalities tackled issues of legalisation and acceptance in intensive discussions. One thing became clear throughout the day: despite great success, there is still plenty to do!

Interview: “Looking back”

Participants: Henk de Vries (founder of The Bulldog), Ben Dronkers (founder of Sensi Seeds)

Best quote: “We want this plant to be a plant for everyone.” (Ben Dronkers)

Summary: It has been a long and stony road for Henk and Ben, who, despite all the setbacks, never gave up the fight for increased acceptance of cannabis.

Interview: “Why a policeman wants to legalise all drugs”

Participants: Peter Muyshondt (policeman and author)

Best quote: “I was too much of a cop and not enough of a brother.”

Summary: Prohibition has failed. It is time for change. To better protect people, all drugs should be legalised.

Masterclass: “Medicinal Cannabis” (only in Dutch)

Speaker: Hidde Siers (employee of Growshop Plantarium, Nijmegen)

Best quote: “Grow your own product.”

Summary: Education is the key to better acceptance.

Interview: “Amsterdam and its coffeeshops”

Participants: Captain Hooter (author of the book “The Connoisseur’s Guide to Amsterdam Coffeeshops”)

Best quote: “In the city centre, it’s like they were serving hamburgers, not cannabis.”

Summary: The Dutch coffeeshop industry could learn a lot from North America when it comes to the presentation of cannabis.

Debate: “Regulate cannabis, but how?” (only in Dutch)

Participants: John Meijers (cannabis grower), August de Loor (drugs counsellor), Peter Hendriks (Avites – a cooperative for more collaboration in the sector), Bart Vollenberg (Cannabis Connect – umbrella organisation in the sector)

Best quote: “It is a political problem and a political compromise. And this compromise will create even more problems.” (Bart Vollenberg)

Summary: The commercial associations for the sector question whether the politicians in The Hague are even interested in improving cannabis regulation.

Interview with the “Guru of Ganja”

Participants: Ed Rosenthal (cannabis researcher)

Best quote: “No law should be worse than what it is trying to regulate.”

Summary: Ed agrees with Marc Emery and urges us all to plant our own cannabis. That is the only way that legalisation can be advanced and we can ensure that individual businesses do not become too powerful.

Debate: “The war on drugs”

Participants: Jules Stobbs and Myrtle Clark (The Dagga Couple), Ben Wise (filmmaker), Ben Dronkers (founder Sensi Seeds), Dana Larsen (activist, politician and author), Kenzi Riboulet Zemouli (founder FAAAT)

Best quote: “Cannabis is the key to resolving the entire war on drugs and ending prohibition.” (Dana Larsen)

Summary: The war on drugs is a war on people in which everyone loses.

Master class: “The cannabis revolution”

Speaker: Doug Fine (author, journalist and cannabis expert)

Best quote: “Even if you have never consumed cannabis in a smokable or edible form, you received cannabinoids in your mother’s milk.”

Summary: Cannabis is big business, but we must not forget the many breeders and growers who produce cannabis. They should also benefit from this new market, which is worth billions.

Debate: “Victim of the Dutch war on cannabis” (only in Dutch)

Participants: Rene Barendse (cannabis patient), Tabe and Brigitte (growers), Hans Baerveldt (activist), Ilonka Kamans (lawyer), Maurice Veldman (lawyer), Doede de Jong (cannabis grower)

Best quote: “They can’t touch the big boys, so they go for the small growers.” (Maurice Veldman)

Summary: Cannabis patients are the true losers in the Dutch war on cannabis.

Debate: “Medicinal cannabis: the status quo” (only in Dutch)

Participants: Rinus Beintema (Suver Nuver – a foundation for medicinal cannabis), Hidde Siers (employee at Growshop Plantarium, Nijmegen), Els Vermeersch (Trekt Uw Plant – a Cannabis Social Club in Antwerp)

Best quote: “It is important that everyone can make their own choice.” (Rinus Beintema)

Summary: Information creates trust.

Master class: “Chocolate and cannabis”

Speaker: Laura Shanalay (chocolatier)

Best quote: “The runner’s high, which is ascribed to endorphins, is probably a cannabis high.”

Summary: Chocolate and cannabis have more in common than many people think. Together, they make an irresistible combination.

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