In 2009 Dries van Agt received the Cannabis Culture Award. Dries van Agt was the Prime Minister of the Netherlands during three consecutive governments from 1977 to 1982 after becoming the first leader of the CDA (Christian Democratic Alliance). A controversial and charismatic politician, he 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. It also enabled more emphasis on, and resources for, the fight against the large scale hard drug trade.
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.