PRESS RELEASE OF TREKT UW PLANT
Antwerp, 21 April, 2008
On Saturday May 3d, 2008, from 14.00 onwards, on the Vrijdagmarkt in Antwerp, Belgium, the members of the association Trekt Uw Plant (Draw Up Your Plant) will put the seed of their private cannabis plant. According to a ministerial guideline issued by the Belgian state in January 2005 the possession, by an adult, of max. 3 grammes of cannabis and one plant is not persecuted. It can only lead to a simplified police record, but the cannabis will not be confiscated.
This guideline has been issued after 8 years of parliamentary debates, working groups, decrees, a federal drug law and its revision by the Court of Arbitrage (Arbitragehof). The guideline is meant to create a situation in which the individual cannabis consumer (in Belgium there are approx. half a million of them) can provide him/herself in a safe and legal way with cannabis. Thus, he/she would no longer be dependent on the illegal trade in cannabis, with all the risks for public health and safety that this generates.
In december 2006 Trekt Uw Plant established a collective plantation in which one plant per member would be grown. The implementation of this plan was then blocked by the Antwerp legal authorities, and the definitive verdict in this case has not been sentenced yet. Meanwhile, the local judge in Antwerp has confirmed that the right to associate is guaranteed by the Constitution and therefore, that the existence of Trekt Uw Plant as such is illegal by any means.
On Saturday 3 May, there will be manifestations in more than 220 cities in the world in favour of the legalisation of cannabis, the so-called Worldwide Marijuana March. Besides, on Monday 5 May it is new moon, which is a perfect day to put new seeds in the earth. Therefore, Trekt Uw Plant will use this opportunity to announce the start of the new growing season.
From 14.00 onwards, an artistic and informative programme will unfold with the participation of several Antwerp musicians and poets. Some members of Trekt Uw Plant will each plant their own cannabis seed in a pot. These pots will not be put together in a plantation. Each of the members will keep his private pot with him, and take it home. From each private seed a private cannabis plant will grow. As permitted by the Belgian law.
We are curious to see how the Antwerp legal authorities will react this time. Will common sense gain, will it be accepted that growing cannabis for personal use is a way in which adult cannabis consumers, many of whom for medical reasons, can enjoy cannabis without becoming involved in crimes or antisocial behaviour?
Or will the legal authorities strike again, arrest the organisers, search their houses, confiscate their computers and tap their mobile telephones etc?. Then it will be crystally clear that 8 years of research, debate and decision-making (paid by the tax payers) will have been of no value at all, and the ministerial guideline of January 2005 can be thrown in the dustbin.
The legal authorities would make clear this way that it is themselves who increase the legal insecurity and disequality in Belgian society. Police commissioners of Brasschaat and Meulebeke declared on 11 august and 14 september 2007 in the Belgian press that they would respect the principle of growing cannabis for personal consumption. If the Antwerp authorities would not, the only ones that would profit from this are the illegal cannabis traders, who would have a serious competitor eliminated.
We call on everybody who wishes to support our initiative to become a member of our association. From 3 May onwards the members receive a welcoming package with which they should in principle be able to grow an outside plant .
On behalf of Trekt Uw Plant
Kris Verdonck, Philippe Decraene and Joep Oomen
Lange Lozanastraat 14
Tel. +32 3 293 0886 / +32 495 122 644 (Joep) / +32 494 807 350 (Philippe) / +32 486 – 357595 (Kris)Republish