This year’s Cultiva took place from 11th to 13th October 2019. But this time with less enthusiasm. This can be attributed to increased police controls, which affected almost 200 trade fair visitors this year. Hemp, a versatile plant that has been in great demand for more than 4,000 years, has been enjoying increasing popularity in medicine for several years now. A lot of countries around Austria decriminalized cannabis, but instead of supporting the prosperity of the citizens, a hunt is launched that destroys families, health and other livelihoods. “This is a violation of human rights,” comments ENCOD’s EC with anger. ENCOD is one of the NGOs who participated with an information stand at Cultiva for several years and educates interested people about drug policy. According to insider information, medical officers rent hotel rooms in the same venue with their drug dogs and catch visitors after closing time. Two years ago there were even racist comments made by Austrian Police officer to a group of visitors from Slovenia: ‘They should leave Austria and never set foot in the country again.’ Such measures are not exactly a model for a state that is on the first place of quality of life. Quality of life means prosperity and prosperity is defined with happiness, health, love and money. As for the first three values, the country seems to be increasingly impoverished. It is time for citizens to take certain actions into their own hands.
Police department of Lower Austria published on Oct. 14th 2019 a press release with the following records:
161 drivers were impaired by (illegal) substances
22 drivers had to pay a fine
6 drivers refused examination by public medical officer
15 drivers had symptoms of fatigue
710 g cannabis, 36 joints, 11 grinders, XTC tablets, magic mushrooms and a knife.
The actions of the police are outrageous and point to several important issues related to cannabis. There is an urgent need to define the allowed levels of THC in blood since the cannabinoid stays in the body for a much longer time than the acute effects last. Medical users (even German patients who have a prescription and are allowed to drive in Germany) were humiliated, mistreated and taken by the police as criminals.
The “City Back Driver” project was founded by CIA-TV (and support of ENCOD) to redirect trade fair visitors back to the urban areas for a voluntary donation. Of course, the drivers are “clean”. The action has been enforced on Sunday evening, as taxi drivers joined the project. More solidarity and humanity are needed in this world. If there is a fair next year it’s time again and you can sign up as a City Back Driver (and maybe From City Driver too).
If you still have interesting reports and information from the Cultiva, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.