A Trip To 'Vansterdam' 

A Trip To 'Vansterdam' 
Posted by CN Staff on May 09, 2004 at 08:00:11 PT
By Jim Lynch
Source: Oregonian
Vancouver, B.C. -- After work, James strolled inside a crowded Hastings Street cafe in his sage-green stockbroker's suit, pulled out a bud the size of a golf ball, broke it up and rolled a joint as casually as if he were shelling pistachios. Like a wine expert who knows everything about his favorite vintage, James knew exactly what marijuana he was smoking: "MC-9, a strain of skunk bud No. 3." He also could describe exactly how it was grown and how it made him feel. "It does the body good." He exhaled. "It gives you wobbly legs."
James danced in place, then passed the joint to Robert, a construction worker he just met. They shared another joint and raved about how wonderful it was to smoke pot in public without fearing arrest -- although their puffing was still illegal, which is why they asked that their last names not be published. At first glance, this recent 6 p.m. crowd at Blunt Brothers cafe looked like any happy hour in North America -- except the smoke smelled different, there was no alcohol, and nobody was boisterous. Until fire gutted it recently, Blunt's -- its motto: "A respectable joint" -- was the centerpiece of a gritty half-block strip of Vancouver that has earned the city the nickname "Vansterdam" and inspired High Times magazine to crown it the world's best tourist getaway for pot enthusiasts. The strip, which doubles as headquarters for Canada's movement to legalize marijuana, is the product of a gentlemen's agreement with police that allows pot smoking as long as there is no dealing or other drug use. But it frosts U.S. drug czar John Walters, who sees Hastings Street as alarming proof of a lax attitude that has turned British Columbia into one of North America's marijuana growing and smuggling hotspots. Marijuana seizures tripled along the northern border during the past three years, as did the U.S. forces charged with intercepting the illicit herb. Still, B.C.'s motorcycle and ethnic gangs continue to pour high-quality pot into the Northwest by car, truck, plane, boat, backpack and snowmobile. In February, a 16-year-old American girl was caught sneaking 8 pounds across the border in her school bus. On April 14, Walters accused Canada of flooding the United States with potent "B.C. bud," branding it the "crack" cocaine of marijuana. Yet, America's war on drugs remains an abstraction in a city where even the mayor openly favors legalizing pot. Snipped: Complete Article: Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)Author: Jim LynchPublished: Sunday, May 09, 2004Copyright: 2004 The OregonianContact: letters news.oregonian.comWebsite: News Canadian Links Guts City's Famous Pot Block -- Canada Archives
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Comment #5 posted by Cannabis Enthusiast on May 09, 2004 at 19:14:29 PT
Cannabis plants blanket the planet
There would be no terrorism if cannabis grew everywhere and people cooked it in their food. The planet would be so mellowed out, life would be great.
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Comment #4 posted by Virgil on May 09, 2004 at 11:56:33 PT
I hate it when I do this
I see I commented on the wrong screen again. This is thread18825 and it was 18826 that I responded to earlier.I have seen the expression "controlled media" today at DU. By election day the term will dominate the Internet. We see the enemy and he is ours.I was checking CEDRO to see if they had any new material. They have chosen to amplify one of Dan Gardner's articles and that is a very good development-
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Comment #3 posted by cloud7 on May 09, 2004 at 10:25:06 PT
"No furtive glancing over your shoulders - though you can always tell us Americans because of the nervous smiles and darting eyes - no concerns as to whether you've just given some adrenaline-tripping Officer Stadanko type license to destroy your life."This sums up the U.S. experience in a nutshell. Never truly relaxed with a free high. How sad.
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Comment #2 posted by Virgil on May 09, 2004 at 10:11:47 PT
Wow. The guy sees the obvious.
The big thing that is coming to people is that we are all living a big lie. Cannabis Prohibition is a big a hoax as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy. It is all a lie.How bad is it when the USG wants to outlaw the importation of the most desirable food on the planet? It is terrible that we cannot grow hemp in this country and a crime against humanity at that. EFA’s are Essential Fatty Acids, which means that they are essential to the body’s nutritition. We must have Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s and the body cannot make most of these and if the body is sick it could mean it cannot make GLA which is an Omega 6. So what does our corrupt government want to do to the most valuable of all foods on the planet. They want to ban it because of a few molecules of THC which is a nutrition all in itself, although the USG has fucked away billions by means of the National Institute of Health. Without finding the benefits of a little THC in the diet. Do they outlaw the fish with mercury that we know is terribly dangerous to the body when people turn to it for EFA’s. Of course not. People’s health does not fit into the equation at all. It is just an opportunity for the Pharmafia to sell more pills for what the mercury does.It is just all lies and people that walk around in the delusional state that the government is really functioning are going to bump into some perturbed people telling them to shut up and get real. Everyone is talking and the ones talking the loudest are the ones that have come to see the entire system is corrupted from the dickhead president to self-serving Congress that ignores its duty where not one person will come clean and say the “Empire has not clothes.”They have changed the definition of manufacturing so that hamburger assemblers can boost the number of manufacturing jobs. They have taken away the states rights to intervene with federal banks. Wachovia makes billions in profits but has not paid one penny in federal income taxes in years with their rent-lease schemes. I mention banks because BankofAmerica has changed the definition of a check. A check was given to people so they did not have to carry cash. They could take the check to the agent/bank of the payor and the agent would make payment for them. Now Bank of America charges $5 to cash a check when they cash a check drafted on their banks accounts. They have changed the definition of a check and it is not right at all and the states cannot do a damn thing because the treason that rules us says they took away the states rights. The silence factor worked well for the prohibitionists, but it will not work now as the War Against Prohibition have not called for silence and the real noise is coming. The prohibitionist do not have any high ground to stand on and their defense using lies, and police force, and corruption of media and government and its correstponding financial waste cannot defend a damn thing. The prohibitionist cannot find anyone to articulate an argument in a public gathering. They cannot release a poll that would show that the majority of Americans do not support their Cannabis Prohibition.The attacks will be more fierce and those that cannot even remotely defend prohibition will turn to attack it when they are told the most basic explanation of why Cannabis Prohibition must end. After all, most people have concluded the country has gone to hell and all we are told is lies. People are now looking for the truth and they do not want to hear any shit from the government that took us to hell in the first place.I have heard both sides of the story. There is one clear victor in the correct side in the War Against Prohibition. There must be Free Cannabis For Everyone.
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on May 09, 2004 at 09:16:09 PT:
The fear of normalcy
I was in Vancouver last year, and had the good fortune to visit the places now lamentably only memories. What I found there was no different than what I had experienced in Amsterdam years ago.Namely, they were their ordinariness. And this is what has the antis' panties in such huge wads.You walked in. You might step up to the back area where they had some (very yummy, even without having indulged) sandwiches or wraps. You may have bought something to wash your lunch or munch down with, chose a table, got settled...and lit up.That's it. No furtive glancing over your shoulders - though you can always tell us Americans because of the nervous smiles and darting eyes - no concerns as to whether you've just given some adrenaline-tripping Officer Stadanko type license to destroy your life. You just...relaxed.No worries about foul-mouthed, belligerent, vomit-dribbling drunks deciding to knife you for an imagined slight, either. Everybody got along.And this is what freaks the antis so much. (I strongly suspect this arson was their handiwork, and will continue to think so until the perp is caught and the motive revealed.) They simply cannot STAND to allow the appearance of normalcy to contradict their pseudo-Reefer Madness claims. It drives them bonkers. Just walk up to a counter and order your favorite cannabis product, sit down and enjoy it along with equally well-behaved, sociable patrons? Why, that's, that's just so...*civilized*. We can't allow that!If antis were so concerned about promoting the common weal as they so stridently claim to be doing, they'd be subsidizing such establishments, not seeking to raze them. That they never will is testimony to their *true* intentions.
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