Cannabis Liberation Day: Holland’s most relaxed festival

Biggest Dutch cannabis event celebrates 8th edition in Amsterdam.

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AMSTERDAM – Holland’s biggest cannabis and hemp event Cannabis Liberation Day kicks off in Amsterdam on Sunday June 12th. The free protestival is organized by the VOC, the Union for the abolition of cannabis prohibition. Visitors from all over Europe will celebrate the world’s most useful and controversial plant. Motto this year: Home cultivation free, back door open!

Rick Simpson, who plays a key role in the rediscovery and rise of cannabis oil as a medicine, will receive the Koos Zwart Award from Dutch coffeeshop union PCN

Biggest draws of this 8th edition are the Canadian cannabis oil pioneer Rick Simpson and the British band Will and the People, whose members are known as major cannabis enthusiasts. Rick Simpson, who plays a key role in the rediscovery and rise of cannabis oil as a medicine, will receive the Koos Zwart Award from Dutch coffeeshop union PCN. Simpson also participates in one of the debates in the movie tent, Europe’s largest mobile Ger (Mongolian nomadic tent).

Other speakers this year: Tom Blickman, drugs expert at the Transnational Institute (TNI), Nol van Schaik, cannabis entrepreneur and activist from Haarlem, Has Cornelissen, founder of the Legalize! foundation and Frans van Laarhoven, brother of Thailand detainee Johan van Laarhoven. Musically there is much to enjoy: juicy raps by the Rupelsoldaten from Antwerp, African sounds from DraMali, Utrecht blues artist Van Piekeren and poetic pop from Iris Penning, who will open this edition. Various artists will pay tribute to Armand in honor of this legendary Dutch protest singer and cannabis activist.

Besides music and speakers, there is a large Hemp Market, the Cannabis Film Festival with documentaries, comedy, debates, a Mascotte Hang Out and catering options to satisfy munchies of any kind. At the Hemp Market some 50 cannabis and hemp related businesses and NGO’s are represented, selling their products and message. Visitors can see the latest innovations, from vaporizers and hemp plastic to a wide range of products with CBD (cannabidiol), the non-psychoactive, medicinally active ‘sister’ of THC. Four authors / photographers will be signing and selling their recently published books on cannabis in the bookstall: Nicole Maalsté, Steef Fleur, Marrika of Beilen and Panayotta Korini.

“The state won’t arrange it, grow your own weed!”

By launching the campaign “The state won’t arrange it, grow your own weed!” we will commemorate Joep Oomen (1961-2016), one of the founders of the VOC who unexpectedly passed away in March. And we look back at 40 years of tolerance policy, with a large video screen, music and a very special surprise guest. Cannabis Liberation Day is free for all ages and nationalities. Sale of alcohol is not allowed, but small amounts are tolerated for personal use. Member of Parliament Vera Bergkamp (D66) has called Cannabis Liberation Day “the most relaxed festival I have ever visited”. Newspaper Het Parool wrote last year: “If there was a diversity award for festivals, Cannabis Liberation Day would win.”

Cannabis Liberation Day, 8th edition
Sunday, June 12, 2-10 pm, Flevopark, Amsterdam
Admission: Free. Website: www.cannabisliberationday.org