AMSTERDAM and BARCELONA, Spain, April 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Cannabis Culture Award winner 2013 and former Dutch European Commissioner Frits Bolkestein appeals for a different approach towards cannabis in the Netherlands.
The Dutch nation has long been known for its liberal approach towards soft drugs. However, this situation has recently reversed. While countries such as Spain, Germany and the United States of America are increasingly focusing on the benefits offered by medicinal cannabis and hemp, the Netherlands - until now, leading by example - is currently turning its back on progress. Thankfully, many people and politicians have risen to protest against these plans.
Bolkestein's acceptance of the 2013 Cannabis Culture Award is particularly noteworthy. His fellow liberal party member and current minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten is currently aiming to reschedule cannabis products containing more than 15% THC into the same category as hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin. This would not only outlaw 70% to 80% of all cannabis sold in Dutch coffee shops but also send the market straight back into the hands of criminals, the very thing the original tolerance policy was created to avoid.
Bolkestein will be honoured with the Awards for his plea for regulation of cannabis trade on April 23rd 2013, by Dries van Agt, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands and founder of the Dutch Tolerance Policy. Bolkestein presents his liberal vision regarding cannabis and hemp in a highly anticipated acceptance speech.
Dutch TV program Spuiten en Slikken (literally translated as Shooting and Swallowing) by public broadcasting association BNN also receives a Cannabis Culture Award in recognition of their candid communication and information about drugs in general and cannabis in particular.
The Cannabis Culture Awards are organised yearly by the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum (Amsterdam/Barcelona). Each award represents a lifetime achievement award as well as a gesture of gratitude. Former winners include entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and Norwegian former Minister of Foreign Affairs Thorvald Stoltenberg. The Museum receives over 100.000 visitors a year.
SOURCE Cannabis Culture Awards