|The Ballards - Holland|
known for windmills, clogs, the European Court of Human Rights, the biggest
container port in Europe and of course those mysterious cafés in
Amsterdam the Americans would dearly love to shut down.
I still can't understand why marijuana is such a threat
to modern society that Britain can't legalise it due to being "signatories
to certain treaties". Evidently ones that Germany, Holland and Portugal
It's blindingly obvious to our entire generation that the only reason marijuana is illegal and alcohol is legal rather than the other way around is the bureaucratic supertanker of state that will always stay on the same course unless enormous pressure is brought to bear. Or to state it simply: "that's the way it's always been".
I have witnessed in my lifetime the journey of both
womens' Rights (to be equal to men) and that of homosexuality, both male
and female, (to become a socially acceptable lifestyle). I have seen rolled
out what were, with hindsight, the most ludicrously stupid arguments against
both issues by well-educated, well-intentioned people who frankly should
have known better.
And the ultimate irony is that marijuana is legal in, say, Illinois. It grows wild on the side of the road and picking/drying it is not illegal. Cultivation is, so people throw seeds out on to the verges instead, and the local councils then spray the verges with herbicide. You can only laugh.....
I first went in 1983 and thoroughly enjoyed every possible
aspect of the country: the Dutch speak maddeningly good English, are tall,
friendly and very diplomatic.
You can drive around the country in a day and we did: even in the deepest countryside the locals all speak better English that wot I do. Quite sobering, really.
Nessa and I went back in 2012 to see the tulip fields,
and arrived the day after they had all been cut for market, which
was maddening. Mile after mile of neatly cut fields stretching out to
the flat horizon....
After 30 years the Dutch were just as friendly, the urban transport system more joined-up and co-ordinated, the prostitutes still plying their wares in the same pleasant way and the cannabis shops still selling their wares to tourists and locals, looking entirely unlike the Terrible Threat To Civilization As We Know It that surely they must be if you believe the US State Department and the UK Government Information Service. Give me a break...