Cannabis Culture Awards

Cannabis Culture Awards 2014

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Cannabis Culture Award Winners are:

MARC AND JODIE EMERY AND HOWARD MARKS

On the 27th of November 2014 the annual Cannabis Culture Awards were presented to world-famous icons of cannabis culture Howard 'Mister Nice' Marks of Wales (Great Britain), and 'Prince and Princess of Pot' Marc and Jodie Emery of Canada. The presentation took place in the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum and was hosted by Michael Schaap

Marc and Jodie Emery  
Jodie (CAN, 1985) and Marc Emery (CAN, 1958) are currently one of the best-known celebrity cannabis couples in the world, thanks to their dedicated activism and tireless campaigning, even in the face of extreme adversity.

COUNTERCULTURE ICON
Marc Emery’s career as a counterculture icon who made an impact on mainstream as well as underground politics began in 1975, when he left high school early to open a second-hand bookshop in his native Ontario, Canada. Re-naming it City Lights Bookshop, Emery established it as a base for like-minded people to connect, as well as obtain supressed or forbidden literature, including information about cannabis. He retained the shop until 1992, moving to Vancouver two years later to open another shop, Hemp BC, which specialized in cannabis paraphernalia, at the time illegal to sell in Canada.

PEACEFUL REVOLUTION
Later in 1992, Marc Emery attended the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam and was inspired by a speech given by Ben Dronkers during the closing ceremony, explaining that Dronkers had been responsible for disseminating millions of seeds, thereby creating millions and millions of cannabis plants. Emery realized immediately that this was the best way to achieve a peaceful revolution. Just months later, at the end of 1994, Hemp BC was stocking a selection of Dutch cannabis seeds.

SENDING SEEDS
By 2002, despite his businesses being repeatedly sabotaged by police raids, Emery had transferred his energies to internet activities and mail-order sales of cannabis seeds. In an interview from that year, he said "Unlike most other seed dealers, I use my real name and I'm easy to find. I've been selling marijuana seeds for eight years, sending seeds to growers all over the world, including diverse places like the Czech Republic, Japan, Australia, England, South Africa, and even Korea. Business is better every year…”

EXTRADITION TO THE US
Marc Emery took the profits from his business and ploughed them back into the political side of cannabis activism all over the world, from Alaska to New Zealand. It was this affluent activism that was to be his eventual downfall, as the DEA admitted following his arrest in 2005. By this time, Marc had fallen for one of his staff – the smart and determined Jodie – and in 2006 they were married. Their relationship helped to sustain them both through the years of legal tangles that followed, as Marc faced 30 years to life in a US jail. Refusing to give up his two co-accused colleagues, he made a plea-bargain for a 5 year sentence in exchange for them receiving no prison time. US officials were willing to allow him to serve out his sentence in Canada, but Canadian authorities were having none of it and finally forced his extradition to the US in 2010. 

JODIE EMERY
Four years later, Marc was reunited with his wife Jodie. In his absence, Jodie Emery had co-ordinated and consolidated the local and global support for Marc, run for office on behalf of the Green Party of British Columbia and the British Columbia Marijuana Party, and taken the online magazine Cannabis Culture, Pot TV and the retail outlet Cannabis Culture Headquarters from strength to strength. Jodie Emery has described herself as a “business owner and political activist” with “a lifelong interest in issues related to freedom, peace, and justice”, and she is indeed one of the most outspoken, serious and politically motivated women in cannabis on the American continent, if not in the world, today. Frequently asked to speak at rallies, conferences and other events in Canada and the US, she is a smart and articulate presence.

FIRST TIME FOR MARRIED COUPLE
Taken separately, either of the Emerys is a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield of cannabis prohibition and legalization. Once again physically united, their combined strength is undoubtedly greater than the sum of their parts, as so many have witnessed on the numerous cannabis events they have attended recently worldwide. It should come as no surprise that the Emerys have been chosen to receive a Cannabis Culture Award; this is also the first time that a Cannabis Culture Award has been presented to a married couple in recognition of equal dedication and motivation to create true and lasting change in the world of cannabis.



Howard Marks
Howard Marks (Wales, GB, 1945) is one of the most public examples of free enterprise and goodwill in the cannabis industry, who has contributed a great deal of valuable, positive publicity, education and entertainment to the cause of cannabis legalisation. Once described as “the most sophisticated drug baron of all time”, his current achievements as an author, public speaker, and thoroughly respectable citizen are likewise laudable.


POSTER-CHILD FOR HASH SMUGGLING
Howard Marks almost accidentally became the poster-child for hash smuggling, and continues to be the best example of non-violent, hard-drug-free, international trade in cannabis the world has ever seen. Were this a legal market, Howard would have been hailed as a major innovator, captain of industry, and possibly Forbes Business Person of the Year. Since it (still) is not, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum takes great pleasure in awarding the Cannabis Culture Award for 2014 to Howard Marks, in recognition of everything he has done to promote the cause of cannabis.

BEST-SELLING NON-FICTION BOOK OF 1997
Marks’ activities and success instead led to arrests and, in 1988, a 25 year jail sentence at Terre Haute penitentiary in Indiana (the harshest federal prison in the U.S.) where he began work on “Mr Nice”, his autobiography which was published in 1996, the year after his early release for good behaviour. “Mr Nice” became the best-selling non-fiction book of 1997, was translated into many languages and continues to be an international best-seller. In 2010 it was also made into a film.

NEW INSIGHTS INTO THE CONTEMPORARY CULTURE OF YOUNG PEOPLE
The popularity of his book led Marks to new insights into the contemporary culture of young people. "Through a plethora of media interviews and several public book readings, it became clear that the predominant reason why so many adolescents and university students read and enjoyed Mr Nice was their frustration with the law prohibiting cannabis consumption and trade. Until then, I had no idea of the extraordinary extent of cannabis use by young people today."

AN AUDIENCE WITH MR NICE
This new realization sparked a spate of live shows, usually advertised as book readings but in practice more of a freeform combination of stand-up comedy and relevant reminiscences which received praise from press and audiences alike. “An Audience With Mr Nice” has achieved many sold-out shows throughout the UK and internationally, and although the central theme remains cannabis and Howard’s love of it, the subjects covered have become increasingly diverse. 

CREATIVE CAMPAIGNING FOR THE LEGALIZATION OF RECREATIONAL DRUGS
Howard Marks has also been active in UK politics, standing for parliament in four separate constituencies (Norwich South, Norwich North, Neath and Southampton Test) in the 1997 general election on the single issue of the legalisation of cannabis. This catalysed the formation of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance shortly after. In the late 90s, he applied for the newly-created post of UK ‘drugs czar’; despite being probably more qualified than anyone else in the country, sadly he was not awarded the position. However, his creative campaigning for the legalization of recreational drugs continues apace. 

FRIENDS
A frequent visitor to Amsterdam – ironically, the first place he was arrested – Howard became friends with Sensi Seeds and Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum founder Ben Dronkers in the 1980s. The two have appeared in various documentaries together, one of which records Howard’s visit to the Amsterdam museum during which he greatly admires the exhibits, chuckling over items donated by the police having seized them from smugglers. He also took the opportunity to enlarge the museum collection by generously donating his prison identification card to the Howard Marks display, which is still one of the most popular exhibits today. 

G13 X HASH PLANT STRAIN MR NICE
As a tribute to his good friend, Ben Dronkers named the now-famous G13 x Hash Plant strain Mr Nice. The idea especially appealed to Ben since, prior to being stolen by a lab technician and let loose upon the underground cannabis breeding world, the G13 strain was created and “imprisoned” by the DEA – as was Howard.

WRITER
A prolific writer, Marks is currently working on the third of a trilogy of crime novels featuring a policewoman as the main protagonist. The only thing she has in common with Howard is that they are both Welsh; a deliberate decision following a ruling that profit could not be made from criminal activities, including writing about them. The sequel to “Mr Nice”, “Señor Nice”, covers his life post-prison and does not include any reference to his smuggling days. He has also written articles for The Guardian, Time Out, GQ, The Observer and the Evening Standard.

FOREFATHER OF CANNABIS
Howard Marks continues to write, speak at public functions, and lend his support to pro-cannabis rallies and events, as well as being a father of four. Recognized in many countries the world over, he enjoys a positive response almost everywhere he goes, as one of the forefathers of cannabis. 

Source: www.cannabiscultureawards.com

Cannabis Culture Awards 2013

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Cannabis Culture Award Winners are:

FRITS BOLKESTEIN AND SPUITEN EN SLIKKEN

On Tuesday April 23rd 2013 in Amsterdam, Frits Bolkestein received a Cannabis Culture Award from former Prime Minister of the Netherlands Dries van Agt, the founder of the Dutch tolerance policy. Spuiten en Slikken was awarded by Frederik Polak. In his acceptance speech, Bolkestein made an elaborate plea for the legalization and regulation of the cultivation, trade and consumption of cannabis.

Frits Bolkestein  
Frits Bolkestein is one of the most prominent and successful Dutch liberal politicians, and outspoken advocate of the regulation of drug trade. By awarding him the Cannabis Culture Award s 2013, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum would like to thank Frits Bolkestein for his thoughtfull approach to the drugs debate in The Netherlands.

Spuiten en Slikken
Even before its first episode had been broadcast, Spuiten & Slikken (literally Shooting & Swallowing) gave rise to concern in the Dutch Houses of Parliament. The then-Minister of Justice called the programme on sex and drugs from Dutch broadcaster BNN a "risky and undesirable experiment." Internationally, the announcement of a television programme in which the hosts themselves would experiment with sex and drugs led to commotion. In September 2005, the Dutch newspaper Trouw reported that BNN had been "flooded with calls from the international media about Spuiten & Slikken," the first episode of which was due to air on the 10th of October. UK newspaper The Guardian and CNN both reported the following about the programme: "Host Philemon Wesselink (26) to try various drugs and report on his experiences."

Cannabis Culture Awards 2012

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Cannabis Culture Awards - Cannabis Cup Winners

Cannabis Culture Awards 2012 (Cannabis Cultuurprijs) Winners:

The Global Commission on Drug Policy (represented by Sir Richard Branson and Thorvald Stoltenberg), Dr. Lester Grinspoon and Dr. Frederick Polak

Global Commission on Drug Policy The purpose of The Global Commission on Drug Policy is to bring to the international level an informed, science-based discussion about humane and effective ways to reduce the harm caused by drugs to people and societies.
The Global Commission on Drug Policy will build on the successful experience of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy convened by former presidents Cardoso of Brazil, Gaviria of Colombia and Zedillo of Mexico. Persuaded that the association between drug trade, violence and corruption was a threat to democracy in Latin America, the Commission reviewed the current ‘war on drugs’ policies and opened a public debate about an issue that tends to be surrounded by fear and misinformation.

Thorvald Stoltenberg is a member of The Global Commission on Drug Policy. He has been Defense- and Foreign minister of Norway, Ambassador to the United Nations, UN head representative mediator to Balkan from 93 – 96, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Ambassador to Denmark and President of the Norwegian Red Cross. For the five Nordic Government’s he made a report in 2009 with proposals for closer foreign and security policy cooperation between the Nordic countries.
In June 2010 he finished a commission for the Norwegian government, chairing a commission that delivered a report on new drug policy for Norway.

Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group, a conglomerate of more than 400 companies. He founded Student magazine at the age of 16 and would later go on to establish a record label, music stores, a railway company, an airline and even a business offering trips to outer space. In 2007, Time Magazine included Branson in its list of the world's 100 most influential people.
Branson is a member of The Global Commission on Drug Policy and sits on the Honorary Board of the Drug Policy Alliance. He is one of the most eloquent and famous advocates for the decriminalisation of cannabis. An important cornerstone of Branson’s business success has been to recognise when a strategy is not working and to have the foresight to change direction when the situation requires it.The war on drugs is a failed enterprise as far as Branson is concerned.
This is why he thinks that governments need to learn from the failures of drug policy and have the courage to enact better solutions.

Dr. Lester Grinspoon - Dr Lester Grinspoon is Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Now one of the most respected and outspoken proponents of cannabis, Dr Grinspoon originally set out to prove it was a harmful drug. In 1967 he began research to scientifically define the dangers of marijuana. His studies led him to a surprising conclusion, the opposite of his hypothesis. Cannabis was not the dangerous drug that he, and the general public, had been led to believe it was. His book 'Marijuana Reconsidered' (1971) reflected this reversal of opinion and was followed by several more, including ´Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine´ in 1993.

 Dr. Fredrick Polak
One of the most experienced and respected Dutch psychiatrists in the field of drug use, Frederick Polak worked in the drug department of the municipal health services (GGD) for thirteen years and has written and co-authored numerous articles and reports including 'Drugsbeheersing door Legalisatie' (Drug Management through Legalisation), 'Thinking About Drug Law Reform: Some Political Dynamics of Medicalization', and 'American Criticism of Dutch Drug Policy Unfounded'. He continues to appear at many conferences and public events throughout Europe as a highly informed yet down-to-earth speaker who clearly argues his point that drug prohibition is actually counterproductive to protecting the health of the general public. He is on the Board of Directors of Stichting Drugsbeleid (The Netherlands Drug Policy Foundation).

Awards

During a festive and moving ceremony in Amsterdam, the Cannabis Culture Awards were awarded to the winners of 2012. Two former statesmen, Mr. Thorvald Stoltenberg, former minister of Defense of Norway and Mr. Dries van Agt, former Prime minister of the Netherlands, expressed their hope for a future without cannabis prohibition. "Hope is almost as important as life itself", said Stoltenberg.

Mr. Stoltenberg accepted the Cannabis Culture Award on behalf of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Former CCA winner Dries van Agt handed him the award and complimented Mr. Stoltenberg on his groundbreaking work in this commission as well as in Norway. Mr. Van Agt played a key role in establishing the world famous Dutch tolerance policy on cannabis. He was very outspoken in his criticism of recent policy changes in the Netherlands. "This policy change to more repression, or even "zero tolerance", is devastating nonsense", van Agt said.

Lester Grinspoon, associate professor emeritus of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, was unable to travel to Amsterdam to receive his award. Thankfully, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum was able to arrange a  video conference between the Academic Medical Centre Amsterdam and the library of the Harvard Medical School where Lester Grinspoon first started his research.

The third Cannabis Culture Award Winner, Psychiatrist Fredrick Polak, commented on the most recent political developments:

"The resignation of the Dutch government will hopefully lead to termination of the new rules for coffeeshops and the so-called "weedpass"."

Cannabis Culture Awards

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Cannabis Cultuurprijs

The Hemp, Hash & Museum in Amsterdam rewards those people and help bring them into the public eye at the same time. In 2004 the Cannabis Cultuur Prijs was inaugrated by the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, and in 2012 it was presented for the first time as as the Cannabis Culture Awards.

The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum Amsterdam confers the Cannabis Culture Awards to those who have distinguished themselves in the struggle for acceptance of Cannabis in all of its forms, working to ensure that this extraordinary plant has a future where it is fully utilized and a history that is fully known.

A committed counter-movement has existed for decades and has steadily been gaining in strength and authority in recent years. These influential individuals and groups in the Netherlands and abroad argue that reason, justice and humanity must prevail over political objectives.

Lifetime achievement Awards
The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum Amsterdam confers the Cannabis Culture Awards to those who have taken a place - whether high or low profile - at the frontline of this struggle, nobly working to ensure that this extraordinary plant has a future where it is fully utilized and a history that is fully known. A certificate and a token monetary award of €3000 are also presented at the Cannabis Culture Awards Ceremony, which will take place in Amsterdam and Barcelona.

History
The Cannabis Culture Award was previously known as the Cannabis Cultuur Prijs and was initiated in 2004 by philanthropist Ben Dronkers in order to honor and reward people who have made outstanding contributions to the world of hemp and cannabis. Previous winners include Dries van Agt, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, poet Simon Vinkenoog, activist Jack Herer, author Ed Rosenthal and entrepreneur Henk de Vries.

A necessary award
In 2012, the relevance of the Cannabis Culture Awards is higher than ever. At a time when ‘zero tolerance’ is replacing the ‘tolerance policy', it is more important than ever to acknowledge those who have made a genuine difference to the perception and use of this unfairly maligned plant.  

Prominent supporters
A committed counter-movement has existed for decades and has steadily been gaining in strength in recent years. Influential individuals and groups in the Netherlands and abroad argue that reason, justice and humanity must prevail over political objectives.

Cannabis Culture Awards 2009

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Cannabis Culture Award 2009The Cannabis Culture Award was previously known as the Cannabis Cultuur Prijs and was initiated in 2004 by philanthropist Ben Dronkers in order to honor and reward people who have made outstanding contributions to the world of hemp and cannabis.

During the ceremony the 2009 Cannabis Culture Award was awarded to Dries van Agt and Dr. Hans-Georg Behr.

As prime minister of the Netherlands from 1977 to 1982, Dries van Agt was responsible for the tolerance policy (gedoogbeleid) which in 1976 divided ‘soft’ from ‘hard’ drugs. This act paved the way for cannabis decriminalization and the Dutch coffeeshop system.

Dr. Hans-Georg Behr was a German psychiatrist, Green Party parliamentarian, history professor (University of Vienna) and owner of the world’s largest collection of antique cannabis smoking pipes. He wrote the book 'Von Hanf ist die Rede: Kultur und Politik einer Droge' (Hemp is the Question: the Culture and Politics of a Drug), a work praised as the German counterpart to 'The Emperor Wears No Clothes'.

The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum Amsterdam confers the Cannabis Culture Awards to those who have distinguished themselves in the struggle for acceptance of Cannabis in all of its forms, working to ensure that this extraordinary plant has a future where it is fully utilized and a history that is fully known.
A committed counter-movement has existed for decades and has steadily been gaining in strength and authority in recent years. These influential individuals and groups in the Netherlands and abroad argue that reason, justice and humanity must prevail over political objectives.

The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum Amsterdam confers the Cannabis Culture Awards to those who have taken a place - whether high or low profile - at the frontline of this struggle, nobly working to ensure that this extraordinary plant has a future where it is fully utilized and a history that is fully known. A certificate and a token monetary award of €3000 are also presented at the Cannabis Culture Awards Ceremony, which will take place in Amsterdam and Barcelona.