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Transcript of video: "Legal" Marijuana in Holland;
We are Not Criminals; The Dutch Moral Majority Speak; tape 1
I would like to show the edit points. However, that will be some time before I can show them. Most of the speakers were not native-English speakers, so many interviews had to be edited. On tape two back in the 1990's, my transcript for some of that material showed the edit points.
announcer: "Have you ever had the idea that you might be becoming a criminal due to your marihuana use?
marihuana-user-F: Never, never, never. In fact, I think it positively discriminates me from being a criminal.
marihuana-user-C: Well here in Holland there is no morale on the use of cannabis -
announcer: It's just tolerated - period.
marihuana-user-E: It's also a thing where nobody would bother you for it. In other words, if police pick you up because you take a red light, and for whatever reason would empty your pockets and find 4 or 5 grams, they'd give it back to you.
announcer: They'd give it back to you...
announcer: The moral majority of Holland, the large bloc of hard working, productive, middle class, Dutch people, support, totally, the legalisation of marihuana because most of them have friends and relatives who use it, and they have no desire to have these people thrown in to prison.
non-user-lady-1: It's the same as drinking beer for me, so, they have to throw those people in jail also. I can't see it as a big crime or something...
announcer: in other words, you don't think that smoking marihuana, in and of itself, is a criminal activity?
non-user-lady-1: No, I don't see it as a criminal activity, no.
announcer: So it doesn't bother you that all these people are smoking marihuana around here?
non-user-male-1: No, not really, as long as they don't bother me with it.
announcer: Does it bother you that they are using "soft drugs"?
non-user-guy-2: No, no, as long as I don't have to, or anything like that...
MUSIC - TITLES :
"Legal" marihuana in Holland: We are Not Criminals; The Dutch Moral Majority Speak.
A Ninth Article production. Videotaped Spring 1992 in the Netherlands. Copyright 1993.
The United States, leader of the free world, imprisons a higher proportion of its people than any other nation on earth. More that red China, more than South Africa. More than half are there for drug related crimes. (AP wire story as published in the Bakersfield Californian 1/5/91 (reference from Jack Here's book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes)).
As more federal & state funds are used to house and maintain criminal traditions, education declines, crime mushrooms, and the quality of life for everyone decreases.
Is there another way?
During the 1970's, before the "war on drugs", the official studies of the U.S. and Canadian governments had recommended that marihuana use be decriminalized.
European authorities agreeed.
(President's commission, U.S., 1972
Canadian government commission 1972)
Goals of Decriminalization
- Free up supply to users. Drug prices drop. Criminals leave market. Users have no trouble paying. Crime drops.
- Keep users home with family, friends, and productive job. No outcasts, broken families.
- Police able to monitor and regulate drug activity without forcing it underground.
Holland even began allowing "coffee shops" to unofficially sell marihuana and hashish (soft-drugs) openly.
The result? A reduction in both soft and hard drug use.
(ref. Interview with head of Dutch department of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. Mr. Eddy Englesman. High Times magazine May 1991. Author Teun Voeten.)
Title: "Legal" marihuana in Holland; We Are Not Criminals; Part I; Users speak
User-F: (computer programmer - male - about 36 years old.) In an Amsterdam cannabis coffee shop, about to play chess with chess-club members -
announcer: What is your name?
announcer: "F", and what kind of (computer) systems do you work on?
user-F: small database systems, and "C" programs for recreative mathematical use, things like that. Things which are easy to use by people, and which help people to appreciate computers.
announcer: so you're a "user-friendly" type programmer?
announcer: and how many years have you been doing that?
user-F: Well I started when I was 16, so, about 20 years,
announcer: into computers?
user-F: yes. My father was one of the first ones in Georgia who bought a computer for his business, and I programmed it in BASIC, and this system he used for many years, and then later I changed it with the help of other systems, more advanced systems.
announcer: And what year did you start smoking marihuana and hashish?
user-F: also when I was 16, in Georgia also, in the United States.
Somebody who had been to California, who had been a hippie there, he introduced me to it, in Georgia.
announcer: how does marihuana affect your work, your programming? What kind of effect does it have on your programming?
user-F: well whenever I need to write a program, I usually find some inspiration by smoking first. It sort of puts me at ease so that I can take the time to put down the logical elements which go into a program. Of course, I didn't always smoke when I programmed. But it is absolutely helpful to me at the moment.
announcer: have you ever had the idea that you might be becoming a criminal because of your use of marihuana?
user-F: Never, never, never! (laughter around the table) In fact, I think it positively discriminates me from being a criminal, because in Holland, everybody who uses hashish, "soft drugs", even the people who trade it, they are not criminals. Everybody tries to be fair and square with each other.
Now in the hard-drugs world, it's completely different. If you trade in hard drugs, you have to carry weapons around you, you can never trust anybody.
But with soft-drugs, it's a whole more friendly atmosphere. All the way, from user to dealer.
announcer: So tonight you're going to be playing a game of chess with these other fellows here.
user-F: yes, we combine chess with smoking (marihuana). We're both members of a standard chess club, we're really the only people there who smoke (marihuana). But nobody minds. Everybody is accepted there. Also, when we go to a tournament, people don't know that we smoke (hashish), we always just roll our joints and smoke, at the chess tournaments. (Here he implies that they are thought to be only smoking tobacco, but are instead smoking joints.)
announcer: and many of the people are not smoking marihuana there.
user-F: right. We're usually the only ones smoking marihuana there.
Chess game in action.
title - transition - "Ledien" - scene in town on beautiful canal on sunny Summer day. A small boat is being rowed by a lone person.
User-C: Research Social Scientist. Male. About 28. Technical Univ. at Delft. Interview in Ledien.
announcer: I don't know if this is significant or not, but one of the types of people I kept running into when I was looking for marihuana smokers to interview, were computer programmers. Here's another one, "C", who I interviewed in Holland's oldest university town, Leiden.
User-C: Well when I started smoking joints, my mother asked me, "What is it, anyway? They say it's dangerous." But then I told her, "marihuana is a soft drug. It's not dangerous. It's not more dangerous than drinking alcohol, which is a hard drug."
announcer: so you knew the danger?
User-C: I knew the danger. It's using a drug like using any drug like coffee, tea, alcohol, or cigarettes.
announcer: what kind of work are you doing now?
User-C: I'm working as a computer scientist at the Technical University in Delft. I work in the no-man's land that exists between sociology and computer science. I work with decision support systems for management.
announcer: does this mean modeling reality?
User-C: Yes. To build the models I use statistical programs, word processors, that kind of stuff.
announcer: do you do a lot of writing?
announcer: so you have the equivalent of a Master's degree in social science?
announcer: and how many years have you been smoking marihuana and hashish?
user-C: ten years now.
announcer: and you started at what age?
user-C: I was 18. Yes, I was 18 when I started. I'm 28 now.
announcer: do you think you have any problems with marihuana?
user-C: No. None whatsoever.
announcer: How often do you smoke now?
user-C: Now, because of my holiday, maybe three or four joints per week.
user-C: Well, when I was preparing for tests, or something like that, or preparing for college, for classes, I didn't smoke. Because smoking marihuana interferes with our ability to concentrate on anything. So preparing for tests and smoking marihuana don't mix.
announcer: did you find that out through experience?
user-C: Yes. So I flunked a few exams and had to do them over again due to lack of concentration. Anyway, when I didn't prepare for tests, and had spare time... I could smoke.
Smoking proved to be a means for creative thinking, which is very important if you want to be a scientist.
title - South Holland, Delta Region (scene near very windy waterfront and lighthouse in Delta region). Three college aged women walk toward the camera. Announcer: "I knew how windy it got in Holland, but I really found out when I visited the Delta region south of Rotterdam. I went there to find out the attitudes of the people outside of major metropolitan areas. There I interviewed Y, N, and E, three junior college students.
announcer: Do you guys think you are a threat to society due to your use of marihuana?
all three: laughter...
Because of your use of marihuana, do you think that there's some sort of terrible harm that will happen to society because you do this?
user-EE: no. If I'm stoned, I'm very relaxed. I'm no harm. I'm not dangerous.
user-N: she's a very nice person, (when stoned).
announcer: E, you're also an artist? In a few minutes, I'm going to show our audience some of the art that E has done. Now "N", do your parents know that you are using marihuana? (yes) What do they think?
user-N: Well, my mother was a little bit shocked when she found out. But she knows that I go to school; I do all my other things.
announcer: you don't have any problems with it, don't you think?
user-N: like I say, you make it a problem if you want to. And if you don't want to (create problems), you just do your daily things, live your normal life, and use it as..... relaxation.
announcer: what were the circumstances, N, in your first use of it?
user-N: well my brother and I went jogging. And he was just back from Spain. And we have a half sister in Norway, she died from Heroin. So we were quite against everything: smoking, alcohol, everything was wrong (for us). And then he told me that he had been smoking hashish for two weeks in Spain. I was a little bit shocked. And then he said, "we must do it once". I said, "OK", and I said, "when?", and then he said "now". So we went to the bunkers over there... (WWII Nazi artillery bunkers being used as sound-proof youth center activity rooms in a city park.)
announcer: this is your brother turning you on to marihuana for the first time...
user-N: "Turning me on????, no. It was my own decision."
announcer: you had no fear about the police hitting you on the head for using it? You had some fear? Who were you afraid of?
user-N: I was afraid of the police because I thought it isn't allowed, and it was "drugs". But then, as time goes by then you see it's normal, and you also see police using hashish.
announcer: I've heard about that. So even way down here south of Rotterdam, in what is generally considered a rural area, like out in the "boonies", the sticks, the police are also considered quite liberal?
announcer: so after your brother offered you the hashish, what was your experience? How did you like it?
user-N: Yes, now, I had a big laugh. It was very nice. We only laughed ... the whole evening.
announcer: and then afterwards, how did you feel? How did you feel the next morning, the next day? Did you have a "hangover"?
user-N: Fine. No. You don't get a real hangover from hashish, only if you smoked really very much.
announcer: where have you traveled around the world? or around Europe? Have you traveled much?
user-N: Yes, well, last summer, I went to Norway. And then I was stopped in Oslo. I had to switch planes. And then they took me out.
announcer: And you got searched? Did they arrest you?
announcer: you didn't have anything?
user-N: No. Of course not. I never take something to another country, ... because it's only hashish. When you are on holiday, why should you take it with you? Then you are addicted.
I go to school, I live my life, I eat normally, I have my exercise, I study.
The other one drinks a glass of wine, we take our joint.
user-EE: alcohol is even worse than marihuana.
Transition. Carnival parade Spring 1992 in small Dutch seaside village. Marching band approaches playing a tune and drumming. Band members are ages 5 - 50, approx.
Announcer - voice over transition: The Dutch people it seems are obssessed with strong family values, keeping families together. They prefer that any family member using "soft drugs" be kept "in the system". marihuana users, like beer drinkers or cigarette smokers, are allowed to get an education, hold jobs, and stay at home with their family and loved ones. They are treated just like anybody else if they behave themselves.
The Dutch don't love marihuana - they love their families. Holland has a lower percentage of its people using marihuana than the United States. (ref. "Collective consciousness breeds Dutch tolerance", Oct. 19, 1989, the Oregonian, from Jack Herer's The Emperor Wears No Clothes)
Now some more marihuana users in Holland:
Transition: Vondel Park, Amsterdam. Pedestrian walkway/bike path is busy in the late afternoon during an early Spring day.
announcer - voice over transition: By the way, bear in mind as you watch this that the Dutch normally don't speak English. They speak their own language which is called , oddly enough, "Dutch".
One of the Dutch who spoke better English than most was "E" who I interviewed in Amsterdam's Vondel Park.
user-E: (male, about 21 years old, property manager) I've never heard of someone being fired over smoking marihuana.
announcer: would you repeat that? You've never heard of anyone being fired for smoking marihuana (!)... say that again!
user-E: you just did. But I've never heard of anyone being fired for smoking marihuana.
announcer: that's really amazing. Do you think that most of the people here who smoke marihuana, especially the people in their 20's and 30's, do you think they handle marihuana well as far as being able to fulfill their obligations to society, and at the same time, enjoy marihuana?
user-E: I think they can. I think they can. I also think that has a lot to do with the semi-legalization here. If it be illegal, you'd have things like "I cannot smoke", or "I cannot tell my boss", because it would be a reason for him to fire me, which hardens the situation.
user-E: We would rather take it mellow. It's like, "Ok, you feel like smoking, I don't mind, as long as you take care of your own responsibilities."
announcer: as long as you do your work.
user-E: as long as you do your work is what it boils down to, basically. It works like that, it works like that. It seems to not give too many problems. I've never heard of someone being fired over smoking marihuana.
====== (scene change to Utrecht canal, announcer and new subject face camera) =======
announcer: Do you see marihuana as destructive?
user-A: (journalism student, female, about 24 years old) marihuana isn't self destructive. In fact, it is very constructive.
announcer: can you think of any reason for it to be illegal?
user-A: Why it should be illegal? I don't think it should be illegal.
announcer: why not?
user-A: Well, if you compare the drug with alcohol, marihuana is less destructive.
===== scene change to interview inside with new subject =====
user-S: (flower field worker from Wales, female, about 20) When you've got people going around drinking, walking down the streets, drunk, abusing people's houses, cars, and then you've got someone who just smokes hashish and they mind their own business, I think this is better than people who go out to drink alcohol.
announcer: can you use marihuana let's say in the evening, and the next morning wake up and go to work without any problem?
user-S: yes I smoke it before I go to work sometimes, and at lunchbreaks.
announcer: do you think it hurts your performance at all?
user-S: No. I think it's better than most things people take.
announcer: do your parents know you use marihuana?
user-S: Yes, both. My father smoked in his younger days, but he doesn't smoke now.
announcer: what do you think they think about your smoking (marihuana)?
user-S: Well I think like most parents who take it sensibly, their attitude is that it's better for a child to smoke hash which is naturally grown than to go out and take alcohol and tablets and things like ecstasies which are man-made and mixed with other things, they think that hash is purer. You know what you're touching, you know what you're smoking.
announcer: So your parents think that marihuana and hashish are safer for you than the other things.
user-S: yes. They think it's safer but they don't see it as an alternative drug. They just see it the same as if I had just started smoking cigarettes, and both of my parent smoke cigarettes.
announcer: so you see marihuana smoking as no worse than cigarette smoking?
user-S: No, I see it as an everyday thing. Something you either do or don't. If you don't then... it should be kept to yourself.
announcer: how do you like it over here?
I like it a lot. I think FREEDOM. Whereas in Wales, if I wanted to go out and smoke after work in a coffee shop, I couldn't do this in Wales. But here in Holland, after a hard day's work or on the weekend, if you just want to pop in a coffee shop and have a smoke, you're free to do it. (announcer: and the police don't bother you here) This is why I've come to Holland.
==== scene change to new subject being interviewed in Vondel Park, Amsterdam, early Spring. Male nurse, about 28 years old, works in hospital.====
user P: but you shouldn't smoke it during work because then you get the real heavy "high" effect, and then I might make mistakes, and those mistakes might turn out dangerous for my patients... so no....
announcer: you feel you can regulate your own use of it yourself, based upon your own experience
user P: yes. It's the most harmless drug there is, really. People know that over here. In America and other countries, people don't know so much about it. Mostly they think you get addicted to it. That you turn on to heavier stuff like cocaine, like heroin.... They always say well, "This is the beginning of the end..."
announcer: have you ever thought about doing harder drugs?
user P: No. Not ever. Never will I do that.
user P: Because I know and I see with my own eyes that, like crack cocaine, which is the most heavy one; I know that crack cocaine, the first smoke from the pipe which you take, it switches something, "CLICK", and you never come out of it again.
user P: addiction.
==== scene change back to Utrecht canal. Subject - journalism student, male, about 25 ====
announcer: "J", have you ever had the idea to try hard drugs?
user-J: I've had the idea of course, like all young people have, just curious, "what would that be like???" Everybody has that thought, "what would that be like?" I never actually did it, though. I don't do cocaine or heroin.
announcer: why? Why not?
user-J: Because I don't know if I can take the risk. Because there are risks involved of course, and everyone knows that, or should know that.
announcer: and how many years have you been smoking marihuana and hashish?
user-J: I think about ten years now.
announcer: Ten years? So you started at about 16 or 17.
announcer: So you see marihuana strictly as something for after hours?
user-J: yes. It's for after hours. It's relaxation. Just as a beer, really. I can smoke a normal cigarette, of course, it's about the same effect. It's just some extra spices, really. Some extra taste. A very tasteful cigarette I would call it, not a joint.
announcer: so you normally mix tobacco with hashish?
==== new suject "EEE" interviewed in his home in Amsterdam. "EEE" is a long term Amsterdammer and a professional guitarist ====
user-EEE: "Kif" is the way the Moroccans smoke it. And what they do is take the tops of the female plant, they clean it real well, take all the seeds and hard pieces out, and then they chop it up real fine, and they mix it with a little bit of tobacco, raw tobacco leaf; they chop it up real fine, they mix it with tobacco to make it taste better, really. And they smoke it in this long pipe with a "nurf bowl" at the end, and you drink a glass of mint tea with it; and you smoke a pipe, and you talk. It's very nice.
It's completely different than all the other drugs in that it's not poisonous. Most drugs like alcohol and heroin and all that other stuff; they're all poisons. I mean that in small or bigger quantity, they're definitely lethal.
The difference with marihuana is that it doesn't cause any reaction in the body. It's not toxic so the body doesn't produce any anti-toxins. Therefore, there is no addiction, no physical addiction. And it's not damaging.
I've never experienced any damaging effects from it.
announcer: These days I do get the impression that the typical Dutch mom and pop is relatively tolerant toward marihuana, most of them anyway.
user-EEE: Yes. Through the years they have seen that there aren't any really bad things happening with it. And they don't make any problems with it.
The thing is, most people, most average kind of people, they don't really know what it is all about. They have not any real information. The only think they hear in the media is a generalization of "DRUGS!!!" And "drugs" has a very negative meaning. It's always alcohol and "DRUGS".
This is ridiculous. I mean alcohol is just as much a drug as all the other mind altering substances. If you talk about drugs, then you talk about everything. But if you talk about marihuana, you talk about marihuana; so you don't say "DRUGS", you say, "marihuana".
I think the nice effect of marihuana is that it's a "peaceful" drug, compared to all the aggressive drugs like alcohol, amphetimines, cocaine, and so forth.
In all layers of society you will find people who smoke marihuana, and they're doing a perfectly good job with their work, and they have families and kids, and they still smoke!
announcer: and they pay their taxes.
user-EEE: and they pay their taxes.
==== new subject - male about 30 - Dutch military, Leiden ====
user-M: In every stage, in every environment of Holland, people, some people smoke a joint, now and then.
announcer: in almost any area of society...
user-M: in any area of society, it's quite normal.
user-M: the government, as well, of Holland, and the police really see the differences in drugs. And they act like that. (they act on this knowledge) There are drugs and drugs. marihuana isn't that bad. And that's what the Dutch government sees as well. The Dutch government is very strong in opposing hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, etc., etc., they are really against it; and if you're caught with that, you're punished very strongly.
annoncer: you're punished very strongly.
announcer: As a Lieutenant in the Dutch army in good standing with your superiors, how do you feel about the use of military power in the United States against drugs, the "war on drugs"?
user-M: Well, I think using force in the "war on drugs" is OK. But you must see, there are drugs and drugs. marihuana isn't that bad. When the American government can see "that", to the effect that, soft-drugs, marihuana, grass, joints, hashish, aren't that bad for the human being, I think when they change the policy for drugs for this few (cannabis), the rest of the drug war is OK. Because there is a difference between them.
announcer: In other words, the American policy is OK except when it comes to marihuana, is what you're saying?
user-M: Yes, I think so.
announcer: well they are using the military in America against marihuana growers. For example, in northern California. Do you think this is strange?
user-M: yes, quite strange.
==== new subjects, sisters about 20, both students, Delta region ====
announcer: I'm here in the home of "E" and "JJ", who are both 20 years old, and were born within how many minutes of each other?
user-E and user-JJ: ten, twenty.
announcer: who was born first? (user-E raises her hand) And user-JJ was born second?
announcer: I'm going first to interview user-E. So user-E, you sometimes grow your own marihuana here at the house, don't you?
user-E: yes, for three years now.
announcer: do you have fun growing it?
user-E: yes. It's very nice. Every year it grows better.
announcer: you get better every year?
announcer: (referring to photo of user-JJ with face shot next to large freshly grown marihuana bud.) When was this picture taken?
user-E: I think it was three years ago. It was from my first plant.
announcer: it was from your first plant? (Now another photo is shown of user-E nearly completely hidden behind a tall row of mature pot plants.) This was last Summer? And that's you in the picture?
user-E: Yes. We went on vacation, and my mother had changed the garden so that there were no plants in it.
announcer: so you had a lot of space there?
user-E: yes, so I put all my plants in there. And when we came back (from vacation), they were very big.
announcer: here's a photo of your mother, and she knows that you and your sister are smoking marihuana, right? She even let you use the garden to grow it. And your mother is a very nice lady, right?
user-E and user-JJ: yes.
==== new subject at Utrecht canal - female - about 30- English teacher ====
announcer: when did your parents find out about it?
user-JJJ: about 8 years ago, I think.
announcer: what do they think, now?
user-JJJ: their first reaction was that I was an addict. And they haven't discussed it for a couple of years. And last year, I grew some grass in my garden; they went into the garden and found the plants. They haven't said anything about it. They just handle it.
announcer: they haven't said anything about it?
user-JJJ: they come up with negative publicity about it. I give them the other side as well.
announcer: I'm interviewing "JJJ". "JJJ", what do you do for a living?
user-JJJ: I work as a teacher at a boys' school in Amersfort near Utrecht.
announcer: and how many students do you have normally per day that you teach?
user-JJJ: I have about 150 pupils.
announcer: that you teach English to?
announcer: do you think that you can function as a teacher while smoking marihuana on a regular basis?
user-JJJ: Oh perfectly well, yes.
announcer: and do you think your superiors are happy with the kind of work that you are doing with the students?
user-JJJ: they're happy so far, yes.
announcer: and how many years have you been smoking marihuana and hashish?
user-JJJ: Eight years on and off.
announcer: What sort of problems do you encounter in your daily life because of that, because of your use of marihuana and hashish?
user-JJJ: none. None at all. What problems should there be?
==== scene change - car driving through tunnel with comments about research on marihuana and driving from June 1980 Car and Driver magazine article. Transition to car driving through the red-light district of Amsterdam =========scene change to woman juicing oranges in coffee shop ====
announcer: Under simulated test conditions, marihuana does not affect one's ability to drive according to Dr. Allen C. Donelson of the National Safety Research Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is funded by the U.S. government.
However, commonsense and good judgement would dictate that "drugs" and driving not be mixed. I hoped that day as I drove to Amsterdam that most of the Dutch drivers were exercising good judgement.
I had come to Amsterdam's famous "red light" district to investigate a rumor I had heard that young people were being enticed by a new and stimulating activity involving an imported substance.
In that same part of Amsterdam can also be found many of Holland's oldest coffee shops which sell marihuana and hashish openly to the public. However, on this trip, I was not interested in the soft drugs scene. I had come to investigate a new phenomenon that experts believe involves 90% of all Dutch (cannabis) coffee shops.
First, using a clean knive, fresh oranges are sliced into halves. Then the halves are squeezed, extracting the juice. The oranges are usually imported from Florida or Brazil.
The orange juice junkie may sit in a coffee shop for quite a long time drinking glass after glass, even foregoing the usual pleasures of marihuana or hashish. Experts are unsure whether this orange juice addiction may lead to heroin or possibly even cocaine.
==== scene change - announcer standing next to brick wall in Amsterdam discussing marihuana policy ====
announcer: Actually, we're kidding about orange juice addiction. But they really do sell a lot of fresh squeezed orange juice at these coffee shops here in Holland which sell marihuana and hashish. They also sell a lot of sandwiches, coffee, tea, and tobacco.
Speaking of coffee, tea, and tobacco, you might be very surprised to learn that these three ordinary things were once illegal in some part of the world.
It's really true, but believe it or not, coffee was once illegal in many parts of the Arab world, such as Egypt, back in the 16th century. And tobacco was illegal in many parts of Germany, Switzerland, and France back in the 17th century. The penalty for smoking tobacco in Russia, India, Turkey, and Persia in the 16th century was death.
And in England, King James about this time hated tobacco smoking and tried to ban it by imposing a 4,000 percent tax. At that point, tobacco smoking became even more popular. King James lost that fight. He had to lower his tax to a more acceptable level. Ever since that time, the English government has derived a great deal of revenue from taxing tobacco. And they still do so today.
Even tea was prohibited once in Egypt (by the British) about 1900. And in Ireland, the prime minister there tried to ban tea to protest British influence in the 1930's. (Tea was also banned in America during the American revolution against England.)
references for this section's claims:
Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs; Chelsea House; NY; 1986
The Forbidden Game, A Social History of Drugs; Brian Inglis; Charles Shribner and Sons; NY ; 1975
Conversations with Dutch people 1992 and 1993
The reference about tea being banned in America during the revolutionary war was on tape two as sold 1994-1998, and came from Historic Preservation magazine, the official magazine of the U.S. government's historic preservation efforts. Issue date unavailable to me at this time. I think it was Nov. 1993 issue or thereabouts.
Getting back to the marihuana issue, we should pause for a moment to reflect on the fact that all of these Dutch working people shown on this video, would be considered criminals in the United States and many other countries in the world.
Coming up, we're going to speak with Dutch working people who don't use marihuana or any other drugs; we're going to find out what they think about legal marihuana in Holland.
Title: "Legal" marihuana in Holland; We Are Not Criminals; Part II; Non-users speak
==== scene change - two dogs meeting in Vondel Park as announcer says:====
announcer: to find respectable people to interview, you have to go where they go. I went to Vondel Park where lots of working people from downtown Amsterdam take a short cut to get home earlier in the evening after work.
=== new subject - woman non user about 30 ====
announcer: Mam, you are not a drug user, are you?
non-user-lady-1: No I don't.
announcer: what is your opinion of the Dutch tolerant attitude toward soft-drugs and soft-drug users?
non-user-lady-1: I think it's OK. I have to say, I did use it a few times, only I don't like it. You're talking about "soft" drugs?
announcer: marihuana or hashish.
non-user-lady-1: I did use it a few times, but I didn't like it.
announcer: you don't like it?
non-user-lady-1: it doesn't feel good with me, so I don't like it.
announcer: do you have many friends who use "soft-drugs" here?
non-user-lady-1: I have a few friends, yes.
announcer: and it doesn't bother you that they use soft drugs?
non-user-lady-1: no not at all. For me, it's the same as drinking beer. I drink beer, but not so much, but I drink it, and other alcoholic (beverages), but marihuana doesn't feel good to me.
announcer: what do you think about the policy of some governments whereby they throw people into jail for using soft drugs?
non-user-lady-1: I think they are crazy. Yeah, it's the same as drinking beer for me, so they have to throw also those people into jail. I can't see it as a big crime or something.
announcer: in other words, you don't think smoking marihuana is a criminal activity.
non-user-lady-1: no, I don't see it as criminal activity, no.
==== new subject non user woman about 35 ====
non-user-lady-2: I think it's a good policy. They tolerate it, and I think when you tolerate the use of "soft-drugs", it isn't a crime. It's the same as when you take a beer or a ginever (gin), and when you have a good time, you can have a smoke. And when you don't make a problem of it, I think people (treat it normally). You shouldn't make a fuss about it.
announcer: so you don't perceive it as a criminal activity in the first place.
non-user-lady-2: No.... soft-drugs (only). (There is a) difference between the soft and the hard drugs (business).
Do you have many friends who use soft drugs?
non-user-lady-2: I don't think anymore. When we were much younger, yes, we could then party every night, etc., etc. It's the same with alcohol; when we were younger we could party every night. Now that we are older, we have jobs, responsibilities, etc.
==== subject change - male non user about 40 ====
non-user-male-1: I think they're very lenient (about soft drugs)
announcer: do you think that's a good thing?
non-user-male-1: I guess so. Because on the other hand, they don't forbid the use of cigarettes or alcohol, and you could say that they are "sort-of" drugs, so I guess that if you keep it out of the criminal sort of sphere, it'll be pretty OK.
announcer: do you have many friends who use soft drugs?
non-user-male-1: No. I know just a few who occasionally, they smoke a joint. That's about it. They never use things like heroin, cocaine, ecstasy.
announcer: so it doesn't bother you that all these people are using marihuana here?
non-user-male-1: No, not really as long as they don't bother me with it.
==== subject change - male non user about 35 ====
announcer: Sir, are you a user of drugs?
announcer: what is your opinion about the Dutch government's tolerant attitude about soft drugs here in Holland?
non-user-male-2: I think that when you can give soft-drugs for free, you have less dealers, criminality. When you make something forbidden, some people make a profit from it.
It's like a child: when you say to a child, "Don't play with matches, it's dangerous", when you leave the room, the child begins to play with matches because it is exciting. When the government says, "don't use drugs because it's evil, it's forbidden", you want to have drugs then. You want to try it. It's like the little kid with the matches.
announcer: Do you have any friends who use soft drugs?
non-user-male-2: I have some friends who use something sometimes. Once or twice a month, only for fun.
announcer: does it bother you?
non-user-male-2: no. I think when you drink alcohol it's even worse.
==== subject change, mature couple, non users ====
announcer: neither of you are drug users, correct?
couple: no, not at all.
announcer: what is your opinion of the Dutch government's tolerant attitude toward soft drugs and soft drug users?
wife: well, I think it's a good way of trying to prevent hard drug use, actually, don't you (to husband)? At least we think so, yes?
husband: I think so, I think so.
wife: you shouldn't forbid things because mostly if you do forbid it, they do try it if they really want to, they will try anyhow.
announcer: and then the prison situation; many people think that putting people in prison or jail is worse than any other possibile thing.
wife: I do think so, yes. And I think soft drugs is just like smoking. Every child, more or less, in our time we didn't have drugs, but we all tried to smoke a cigarette some way, behind the corner, in the toilet, etc., etc. If it's not forbidden, you don't get a kick out of it as much as when you forbid something. And I think the problem of drink is much bigger than the problem of drugs. Don't you (to husband)??
husband: yes, I agree.
==== subject change - couple, non users, about 20 ====
announcer: Are either of you currently using drugs of any type?
couple: No we don't.
announcer: What is your opinion about the government's policy concerning soft drugs and soft drug users here?
girl: What do you mean by "soft drug"?
announcer: marihuana and hashish, in the coffee shops, and all that.
girl: We came to Amsterdam two days ago and he's especially very afraid of going into a coffee shop and getting some bakery with some drugs put in it (hand motion of pouring something).
announcer: I don't blame you.
guy: I personally think they handle it very well here. We come from Austria and they are very strict there against drugs, and I think that especially marihuana and hashish, isn't so dangerous as alcohol or even cigarettes, and I think.... it should be allowed to use them.
announcer: throwing people into jail doesn't seem like a good thing in the situation involving soft drugs, correct?
guy: I think throwing people into jail is not good at all, even if they use hard drugs.
announcer: I agree with you there.
==== subject change - male non user about 25 ====
announcer: Sir, do you use drugs of any type?
non-user-male-3: No. Only coffee and alcohol.
announcer: Well what is your opinion on the Dutch government's policy towards "soft drugs", like marihuana and hashish?
non-user-male-3: I don't think there's much wrong with it. I think internationally it's being seen as a soft policy for soft drugs, and I don't see much danger in soft drugs.
announcer: do you have many friends who use soft drugs?
non-user-male-3: Some, not many but some.
announcer: does it bother you?
non-user-male-3: Not at all.
subject change - male - non user - about 40 ====
announcer: Sir, you are not a drug user yourself, are you?
non-user-male-4: No I'm not.
announcer: what is your opinion of the Dutch tolerance toward soft drugs and soft drug users who use like marihuana or hashish?
non-user-male-4: I think it's fine like that. If someone wants to use drugs, they can use it. I think the drugs should be completely free.
non-user-male-4: It's something you are doing to yourself, not to others. Most of the problems are caused here by people using hard drugs. They are so expensive they have to steal. If hard drugs would be free or very cheap, then there would not be problems here-
announcer: of stealing and robbing, yes?
non-user-male-4: If someone wants to kill himself, that's his problem. But if someone is stealing my stuff, robbing people, then it's everybody's problem then. So let it free, and people who use it will just disappear automatically.
==== subject change - male - non user - about 30 ====
non-user-male-5: Well, I would think it's a very good idea, given that it's something you can actually see to work in that obviously the fact that soft drugs are made available, people don't feel pressurized in any way about choosing them. You don't see problems in their use; it's just something people use when and if they want to. It doesn't interfere with anyone else, and it doesn't cause problems here particularly here in the city; you'd notice it otherwise.
announcer: how long have you been visiting here in Amsterdam?
non-user-male-5: I've been living here 2 and 1/2 years.
announcer: so you have seen how things are here?
non-user-male-5: Oh yes. Soft drug use - you can see it; there's no problems with it. In many bars people are using it. Many people use soft drugs at home. Here, it seems quite respectable. There's no stigma attached to it.
announcer: quite respectable?
non-user-male-5: Yes, there is no stigma attached to it at any rate.
announcer: do you have many friends who use soft drugs?
non-user-male-5: Yes, I think everybody does.
announcer: And it doesn't bother you?
non-user-male-5: No, it doesn't bother me. It comes down to personal choice. They can use it if they wish, I can use it if I wish. It doesn't interfere with them; it doesn't interfere with me.
announcer: you're from what country?
announcer: Do you think that more of the EEC countries will start legalizing?
subject change - male - non user - about 18 ====
non-user-male-6: I can understand their attitude, they're very tolerant about that. They put their attention on hard drugs, not soft drugs. Soft drugs are not as bad as hard drugs. So I accept the fact that they put their attention on hard drugs.
announcer: do you have many friends who use soft drugs?
non-user-male-6: Some of my friends use soft drugs, yes.
announcer: does that bother you at all?
non-user-male-6: No, as long as they don't bother me with it. It's their own responsibility to use soft drugs (properly). Sometimes at parties, they use it-2
announcer: do you think they are a threat to society?
non-user-male-6: as long as they don't get to hard drugs, so they don't steal things to get money to buy it. Soft drugs is not so expensive and you can buy it anywhere. It's just like cigarettes or alcohol; you can use it.
==== transition - title - "conclusion" ====
announcer voice over transition: to conclude our video, we return to the same chess game in the same Amsterdam coffee shop where we started.
==== transition - chess game in Amsterdam coffee shop ====
announcer voice over transition: here I interviewed one of the chess players, an individual who chose to give up their American citizenship in return for what he says is more freedom in Amsterdam.
user-male-B: I was the Broome county coordinator in New York state for the National Organization for the Reform of marihuana Laws 1975 to 1977 when they passed decriminalization.
user-male-B: My name is "B".
announcer: Actually, you don't have to use your real name.
user-male-B: It's OK. Back in the states, I worked for marihuana law reform and I stood up in the public eye, and I stood up in the city halls, and I spoke about it.
announcer: So you've really put your efforts into legalizing it in America?
user-male-B: We were not able to attempt legalization. It was too much. We could only attempt to decriminalize it; was the phrase. To take away the criminal penalties. But I had friends, your age, who had gone to jail for seven years for a joint.
announcer: where was this?
user-male-B: New York state prior to 1977. The law changed in 77.
announcer: I didn't realize New York was so bad at that time...
user-male-B: the (marihuana) crimes were equal to the crimes of arson, manslaughter, and rape. And they were worse in other parts of the country.
announcer: now New York has a fairly liberal decrim. situation, don't they?
user-male-B: Yes, but it's not legal. They're actually rolling back the advantages. The state which was most legal was Alaska where you can grow your own, but last year, that was revoked. The U.S.A. is really into this perfect propaganda, if you ask me, of "the drug war". Let's beat down our own people who would object, and it's also the excuse to invade central and south America which they are doing under the pretense of controlling drugs.
announcer: "B", you've decided to at least live over here for the time being, haven't you?
user-male-B: I intend to live here until I die because here I can live the freedom that the U.S.A. has only promised me. I don't have to argue about it, I can live it. And I feel that I'm an expatriate by definition. But I'm also one of the patriots. I'm one of the U.S.A. yankee patriots. And this is where I've had to wind up.
By birth, my Irish dad gave me EEC citizenship. And I've lived in S. Ireland for six years and used to visit here frequently until I finally made the move just about a month and a half ago.
announcer: so you like it here very much.
user-male-B: I love it and I hope never to have to leave. Signed up to learn Dutch at the Volks university. Classes start in mid-May. I'm listening to the sounds, practicing the little phrases that I know like, "Wat betaken dat?", and "Zat u dat".
announcer: is it easy or hard?
user-male-B: It's a lot easier than I expected never having learned a foreign language before, because you're in a culture where it tugs at your sleeve everyday. To just order food or buy things, you must learn to read some Dutch.
The Dutch have a very unique experiment that we all could profit from hearing more about, and I hope that your video will bring this to light.
announcer: In America, there is an attempt to remove the marihuana user from the system altogether, or any other drug user, and to literally throw them out of society, almost.
user-male-B: when you say drugs, we fall into that game of not considering alcohol and tobacco as the drugs which are pumped and encouraged by society. I believe in moderation but I believe that individual freedom must be allowed. In the Declaration of Independence of America is the principle of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". That people have a right to pursue being happy, and any country that stifles that is stifling some of their best spirits and their best hopes.
announcer: they're throwing out a lot of their creative people.
user-male-B: Their ideals don't match the reality of freedom here in Amsterdam; a lot of rhetoric but little reality.
==== transition - 2nd interview with user-EEE, male about 50 ====
announcer voice over transition: and finally "E", one of the people we interviewed earlier, and also a good chess player, gives his opinion.
announcer: can you think of any reason why any country should imprison people for the use of marihuana or hashish?
user-EEE: this is absolutely criminal. I know that in earlier times they used to execute people for drinking coffee. This is just as idiotic. It will be seen in the future, in history it will be seen as an idiotic thing, an idiotic reaction...
==== titles - "the Ninth Article =====
The Ninth Article of the U.S. Constitution.
As an inalienable right, has always been our inheritence. Ratified by the United States of America on December 15, 1791.
Still your legal right today?
in the constitution of
shall not be construed
to deny or disparage others
retained by the people.
put another way:
The fact that certain
rights are specifically
guaranteed by the
constitution, shall NOT serve
as a limitation upon
put another way:
Although the constitution
guarantees certain rights for
the people, it is acknowledged
that the people will always
retain certain unenumerable
and non-governmental rights,
rights not delegatable or
even relevant to the sphere
of governmental power, but
retained by the people and
exercised naturally as the
unfolding of unrestricted
human potentiality, which no
government may rightfully
==== scene change - interview with "user-C" - coffee shop manager, female, about 45, Amsterdam.====
title: "Home of World's Best Pot"
title: 1992 Cannabis Cup Award (video erroneously states "1993" - sorry. Tape 1 was edited completely by April 1993 and was being sold from mail order ads in High Times by August 1993.)
title: awarded by High Times magazine
announcer: so what are you doing? What are these?
user-C: these are blossoms from the trees outside. Apple blossoms or I don't know what kind of blossoms. They don't grow unless you open up the ends (she is hitting the twigs with a hammer behind the coffee shop counter).
announcer: Oh, I see. So the water can get in.
announcer: So you're one of these Dutch horticulturists.
user-C: horticulture? What's that?
announcer: plant science.
user-C: Of course not. It's kind of common knowledge.
announcer: so how many years have you been smoking marihuana, C?
user-C: Twenty years.
announcer: you don't smoke so much anymore though, do you?
user-C: I started when I was 19 years just by using... marihuana was not available at that time as much as ... hashish?
user-C: Hashish. Only for the weekend, or on Saturday evening, smoking a joint, and then I started smoking more. Like halfway (through) the week, it's getting more a habit. And of course it increased, smoking every day. Because of course When we started growing (it) ourselves, you have always grass. And it's easy to smoke every day then. But since, I don't know when, when I smoke it a lot, it's going like this (up) then down again. It's not so much fun anymore, smoking always and being always stoned or high. It's getting too common.
announcer: so you're tired of it?
user-C: no not tired of it. I would not like it if it was not there because I enjoy it more than alcohol.
announcer: so now it's for special occasions.
user-C: only for nice concerts, or birthday parties, but not at the end of the day, I must have a joint. Also, I can't sleep (when I smoke marihuana). Some people get very sleepy when they smoke a joint, but I get very speedy.
announcer: so if you smoke marihuana, you have trouble sleeping?
announcer: so you sleep better without smoking pot?
user-C: yes, I sleep better without it. But that's very personal. I also think that's changing. Because in the beginning, I can think of situations where I just fall asleep like a log. Now it takes me five hours to recover from one joint!
announcer: So how many years have you worked in this coffee shop?
user-C: this one? Three years.
announcer: what kind of strange things have you seen happen here? Have you seen any kind of violence or anything like that?
user-C: only violence from people using alcohol.
announcer: Only drunk people. Well, "C", thank you very much. I'll let you finish this (hammering).
user-C: thank you.
==== titles ending ====
Produced, Directed, Edited
Ninth Article Productions
Music for titles
composed and performed by
of Essex and Oxford
Special thanks to:
Nick (slider 2000)
Home Grown Fantasy
The book by Jack Herer,
The Emperor Wears No Clothes
was used extensively as a general reference.
Some persons shown smoking were using tobacco only.
Some persons interviewed received a free copy of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes."
All music other than title soundtracks was incidental and was recorded unintentionally.
copyright 1993 W. C.