Tag Archives: amsterdam

420 tales from the white widow

white widow cannabis strain

It all started with white widow. This almost trippy indica hybrid has stolen the show for decades. It is beautiful to grow, smoke and behold. When I was younger we used to whisper about this strain. Imagine if we were over there now boys, sitting back on one of those well worn couches in the Old Amsterdam Coffee shop! When we finally did make it over to Amsterdam, we embraced white widow like a mother embraces their long lost child. We were staying for a sunny weekend in late spring. In an effort to do something cultural we tried to find some famous art gallery or other. This adventure ended when we got confused and had to pause and seek shelter under a lamp post. We remained there until one of us built up the nerve to suggest we head back to the coffee shops in the red light district. The nights were a blur. We call Amsterdam the Dam back home. Well the Dam nearly swallowed us whole. I remember being in a bar and watching another group of stoners talking and having fun. The place was packed because it was a Friday night. One of their group got up to get a drink and he was obviously very stoned because as he went over to the bar he continued the conversation he was having when he was sitting at his table. It was strange to watch him roar at his friends over the heads of strangers and yet somehow it seemed normal.

On our final day in the Dam we all had early fights home to civilization. Everyone except Fiachra that was. He was living in Spain at the time and had a later flight back. We all packed our bags and checked out. With a few hours to kill before our flight we decided to get as stoned as possible. With time evaporating, like a marauding tribe we headed for the airport leaving poor old Fiachra to the Dam. At first he walked around, exploring some of the streets we hadn’t been on. As the minutes ticked along however, the slow, cold creep of paranoia took hold of him. ┬áHe started to become convinced that everyone was out to do him harm. Trying to dismiss the thought at first, soon it became the inevitable conclusion from obscure signs in his surrounding environment. A small breeze, yep, definite proof of a conspiracy. Two old people standing by the canal and checking their map, probably a signal to the others to come get him in a minute. As time passed in a vortex of fear and shame he was quite certain that he was about to be torn limb from limb by the maddening horde. Finally, with wrecked nerves he decided to put an end to it. He walked up to the largest person he could find (a big black dude standing outside a coffee shop) and asked him in him most confident, frightened little child’s voice, excuse me, is everyone here trying to kill me? The large man for a moment looked him square in the eye, then as his serious eyebrows lifted and his face broke into a gently smile he laughed, no man, your just stoned . . . With friendly human contact Fiachra was back in the land of the living.

Happy 420 everyone, love and laughter from Prague

Holland’s backward step

Holland cannabis law

When the world thinks of Amsterdam, it thinks of beautiful canals,  coffee shops, red light districts, Vincent Van Gogh and perhaps Heineken. Holland is also thought of as a model example of forward thinking social policies, especially in regards to cannabis. On Tuesday however, they have taken a dramatic step backwards. The sale of cannabis in coffee shops is still legal but the growing and now even sale of growing equipment is firmly illegal.

As Holland was the only country to have legal cannabis for decades it received the worlds pot smokers. In the beginning this was fun I’m sure, but today those cranky Amsterdam folk are trying to ruin the global party. They don’t want the influx of visitors, tourism obviously isn’t important to their local economy so they are trying to restrict the growing of cannabis until the supply dries up. If we had legal pot everywhere the pressure of demand wouldn’t have been felt so squarely on Amsterdam’s shoulders. Starting this week, the sale of equipment specifically designed for growing pot will be illegal. As other European countries begin to relax their attitude to pot, the Dutch are moving in the opposite direction.

Holland cannabis law

It wasn’t fair on Holland that they were the only country brave enough to legalize cannabis, but they will go down in history as playing a key role in the resistance against the absurd war on drugs. Crime rates went down after pot was legalized. Spain, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic and a few other liberal states all need to now pick up where Holland has left off. Legalizing pot would increase tourism hugely, and as we can see from the Portugese example, dealing with cannabis in a non criminal way benefits everyone. The treatment of problem users rather than the incarceration of all users has proven to be a much more effective strategy. Tax payers money is saved, and society is safer.

Dutch growers are at the cutting edge of marijuana innovation. It was modern day Dutch masters that gave us the infamous White Widow cannabis strain. It is sad news that such creative growers are now being targeted and having their supplies restricted. We have never had as much scientific information about the medical benefits of marijuana. Growers can now target traits within specific cannabis strains and improve on them until they give optimal medicinal benefit. Restricting growers will restrict the advancement of medical marijuana, at least here in Europe.

Holland cannabis law

As evidence of  the medicinal benefits of marijuana increases the true injustice of our current cannabis laws are highlighted. We need change, not only so the next White Widow or charlotte’s web strain can be created but so we can move away from police intrusion into our private lives. We were born free. No man, woman or state has the right to tell us that a non toxic, medically beneficial, plant is illegal. That prohibition is illegal. With the momentum we have from America, it is now up to each of us to advance our movement. Within your world, be the change you want to see. Look at the science and then speak out against prohibition.

Holland cannabis law