Tuesday, September 1, 2009


The Cannabis Cup is the Academy Awards, the Grammys, the Golden Globes, and the Olympics of marijuana all rolled into one. Rolled and smoked, you might say. The annual event is held in Amsterdam, and every year pot farmers and hopheads from around the world converge on the Dutch city as new strains of cannabis are unveiled, and judges award the Cannabis Cup, as well as the best new product, best booth, best glass, best hash and best Nederhash--whatever that is.

This irreverent history of the event is amusing (and probably even funnier if you're stoned). Don't get me wrong. I don't advocate smoking pot, but I advocate the freedom to do so as an adult in a (relatively) free society.

With California going broke, some people are advocating the legalization--or at least the decriminalization--of cannabis, which is the state's biggest cash crop. Marijuana, that's right, pot, grass, weed, bud. Forget arguments about freedom, and forget arguments about the relative dangers of pot and booze, and forget arguments about victimless crime--what may turn the tide of marijuana prohibition is money. Pure and simple, cash on the barrelhead, something Americans know more about than weed.

Save the economy with pot? This ad has been running on TV in California

Medical marijuana is already legal in California for its pain-alleviating and relaxant effects. In the Netherlands, while pot is officially illegal, the government has a policy of non-enforcement and sensibly separates "soft" drugs from "hard" drugs like heroin and cocaine. Over there you can visit a "cafe" and pick up pot as easily as a cup of coffee. Of course, you wouldn't want to drive after a visit to the coffeehouse any more than you would after a couple vodka martinis. Call a cab!

After eight years of government by the dunderheads, for the dunderheads, perhaps we're due for some enlightenment on the subject of marijuana--or at the very least some non-biased investigation and intelligent dialog. And who knows? Maybe California, the state that elected an Austrian action figure for governor, will get the job done and pay their bills. Then, instead of swinging by the liquor store for gin you could pick up a carton of Acapulco Gold--or better yet, British Columbia Bud (hard or soft pack)--and listen to those Beatles remixes with the headphones on.

Holy smokes!

I don't claim to be unbiased. If you've followed this blog at all, you know I err on the side of personal liberties and generally rank myself with dissident non-conformists. Believe what you want, I always say, but do your homework. Dig deep and question the dominant paradigm--even if you come back around--because healthy skepticism if its own reward. After all, in the safety of your own cranium you need not fear the thought police.

Ever wonder what it's like in an Amsterdam cafe? High Times foreign correspondent Bobby Black filed this report from a couple of the coolest cannabis cafes, the Amnesia and Barney's. If you think these are just Dutch Starbucks take a closer look at this menu.

The Cafe Menu: Click to enlarge image

This irreverent history of the Cannabis Cup deserves to be seen by thinking adults for educational purposes. If you agree or not, take a look and keep an open mind.

It's a freedom thing.

There are two sides to every argument, so we present "The Terrible Truth" from 1951, a sensational documentary for teenagers about the dangers of Maryjane.

Visit the official website of the Cannabis Cup here.

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