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Images: http://www.krakendrotterdam.org/images/HdH/MMM_Rotterdam_nl_2006.html


Report from Rotterdam

On Saturday the 7th of May, in 184 cities, a global action day against Cannabis repression took place. A photo impression from Rotterdam.

Marijuana was a term introduced by the federal drugs department, just after the passing of the US prohibition of Cannabis to propagate a word with a 'scary mexican' sound.

Originally the plan was to organize a happening in the Kralingse Bos, the park where in 1970 during the 'Kralingen Pop Festival', large scale Cannabis usage was not repressed by the authorities. Nowadays Cannabis is still punishable by law, via the 'Opiumwet' in combination with the 'Opiumlijst'. Only the prohibition of recreational Cannabis usage and distribution through the coffee shops is officially not enforced through public guidelines. The growing of recreational hemp is illegal, with as a result, enormous enforcement problems, normal people with big fines. When one is caught by the police for growing recreational Cannabis (or for medicinal purposes without a necessary permit that will not lightly be approved), all the equipment is being destroyed. This equipment could also be recycled for other greenhouse purposes.

Recently, a quote of the responsible Head of Ministry of Justice was presented as a little victory, stating that: 'small-scale house plantations will not be penalized anymore; the first time caught results in a warning'. Maybe this is good news, but rumors go that practice is already that below 49 plants you can pay your way out from prison. Also is not stated what will happen with the equipment, but one might guess. In relation to all other policy concerning Cannabis, the above seems like a Pyhrric victory. In Rotterdam, in a period of 4 years (or something alike), the amount of coffee shops decreased from 160 to 60. Also from repressive viewpoint, not a quite smart move.

At the moment, 60 % of dutch prison is populated with drug-economic offenses, in the US this is 70% and in the US even a more part of those people was imprisoned for Cannabis related drug-economic offenses. Maybe these numbers are not quite correct, but they do give somewhat truly impression of reality.

The manifestation that took place on the new location didn't attract any visitors, but it was a good experience for further manifestations. The changed location was 15 minutes traveling time from the Rotterdam Central Station. It was situated at a 900 m2 raided ex-hemp plantation that was recently squatted.


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