'High Times' Cannabis Cup Raid: The Aftermath

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Former Berkeley Patients Group employee and longtime East Bay activist Debby Goldsberry provides an eyewitness account of the first-ever raid at Amsterdam's High Times Cannabis Cup this year.

Goldsberry came to Amsterdam — where pot is decriminalized but not legal — to judge the Cup's indicas and receive the High Times Freedom Fighter of the Year Award. But after the raid kicked off, local police harassed organizers over the course of three days — though in a distinctly Dutch fashion.

For example, cops allowed Cup attendees at the expo to smoke evidence before a search. Authorities also banned smoking indoors at the awards ceremony, but allowed attendees to step outside and light up — across the street from a police station. Some excerpts below:

Debby Goldsberry - Drug War Correspondent
  • High Times
  • Debby Goldsberry - Drug War Correspondent

" ... these were the most mellow cops ever ... The police did not seem to mind that hundreds of people were blazing joints all around them. Some even seemed to be smiling with contact highs. Passing joints around fast and debating the merits of samples 21, 20, 17, and 12, while surrounded by 200 cops and tax collectors actually became fun."

“... these shakedowns happen at each location once a year in the Netherlands. The police barge in with tax officials and shake up the clientele while moving them out. ... Everyone strictly complies with the laws, though, and they are never forced to close by these raids. This is nothing more than another constant reminder of the struggle we face to change these prohibition-style cannabis laws.”

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