Newsbrief: European Union Blocks Cannabis Exhibition 4/30/04

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Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Marco Cappato of the anti-prohibitionist Transnational Radical Party ( reported Monday that the parliament has blocked the authorization for an exhibit of industrial cannabis (hemp) products that was to take place in the European Parliament building in Strasbourg. The denial of permission was made by the parliament's Quaestors, a small group of MEPs who look after the organization's affairs.

Cappato had been working since July 2003 with Chanvre Info (, a Swiss hemp industry group, to win authorization for the exhibition, which would have dealt only with hemp products, not those related to psychoactive marijuana. Cappato and Chanvre Info had followed all the rules, Cappato said in a statement, but the Quaestors still refused to allow the exhibit.

The Quaestors denied permission on April 5, prompting Cappato to write them a letter hoping that their decision was the result of a "misunderstanding." In the letter, Cappato explained that "cannabis derivatives are not only a legal product throughout the European Union, but they are also subsidized by the European money destined to agriculture." Moreover, Cappato wrote that "it would be paradoxical, as well as unacceptable, to use the rules governing exhibitions at the EP -- where it is said that the 'exhibition cannot, in any way, trigger major political objections' -- to impede the exhibition of goods that are the products of cultivations financed by the EU budget."

Despite Cappato's clarification and despite assurances from the parliament that a formal statement that no illegal products would have been exhibited would have been sufficient to gain authorization, the Quaestors have refused to revisit their decision, Cappato reported.

"The decision taken by the Quaestors is inadmissible and underscores, once again, the fact that bureaucratic decisions are de facto, and increasingly also de jure, substituting the legitimate political powers within European institutions," Cappato said Monday. "I urge all those European citizens that will read this message, and in particular producers and vendors of cannabis derivatives that are legally used as widely useful, to express their indignation to the President of the EP Pat Cox and the other Quaestors."

Cappato has thoughtfully provided their email addresses:

MEP Pat Cox, [email protected]
MEP Mary Banotti, [email protected]
MEP Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, [email protected]
MEP Jacques Poos, [email protected]
MEP Miet Smet, [email protected]
MEP Richard Balfe, [email protected]

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Issue #335, 4/30/04 Announcing: "The New Prohibition: Voices of Dissent Challenge the Drug War" -- New Compendium by Sheriff Masters Features David Borden and Numerous Other Thinkers on Drug Policy | Peruvian Coca Growers' "March of Protest and Sacrifice" Reaches Lima as Government Seeks to Elevate Alternative Leadership | Like a Phoenix from the Ashes: Vancouver's "Pot Block" Rebounds from Weekend Arson Fire | There You Go Again, Joe: CASA Report Uses Suspect Science to Hype Teen Marijuana Menace | NORML 2004: Stroup to Retire, Lobbying the Hill, Initiative Excitement, Medical Marijuana | Newsbrief: Drug Czar, Media Campaign Well-Positioned to Influence November Elections | Newsbrief: FBI Was Looking for Dope, Not Terrorists, 9/11 Commission Says | Atlantic City Announces Needle Exchange Plans | Newsbrief: European Union Blocks Cannabis Exhibition | Newsbrief: New Web Site Compiles Judicial Opposition to Drug War | Newsbrief: Canadian Couple Appalled at Being Treated Like, Well, New Yorkers | Newsbrief: Albuquerque Cops Block 4-20 Event by Closing Park | Newsbrief: Colorado Drug Task Force Sued Over Methamphetamine "Decontamination" Public Stripping | This Week in History | The Reformer's Calendar

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