Cannabis Culture Award 2008
Dutch Poet Laureate Simon Vinkenoog accepted the 2008 Cannabis Culture Award from Ben Dronkers during the opening ceremony of the Hemp Gallery. He was a lifelong advocate of cannabis legalization and many of his poems mention the plant. His impassioned readings and performances stirred and inspired his audiences wherever he appeared. He was a contemporary of Allen Ginsburg and William Burroughs, with whom he performed at the International Poetry Incarnation at London’s Royal Albert Hall in front of 7000 people on June 11th, 1965.
Simon Vinkenoog (b. July 18, 1928, Amsterdam July 12, 2009) was a Dutch poet and writer.
He was the editor of the anthology Atonaal (Atonal), which launched the Dutch "Fifties Movement". In 2004 he was chosen as Dichter des Vaderlands, or "Poet Laureate", for the Netherlands.
Vinkenoog is also Holland's best known advocate for the legalization of marijuana.
Using cannabis for fun really didn't come about in the Netherlands until after the Second World War. After jazz, and later the hippie influences, marijuana smoking blew over from America. In 1962, Vinkenoog, the Dutch liberated poët, wrote: 'In ten years, this will be as common as drinking whiskey or beer, or just as normal as an ordinary cigarette. And it doesn't give you lung cancer'.
In November 2008, Simon Vinkenoog recieved the Dutch 'Cannabis Cultuur Prijs' from the hands of Ben Dronkers of the Marijuana Museum in Amsterdam. He was presented with the award in the newly opened wing of the museum, the Hemp Gallery in the heart of the city's Red Light District