PRESS RELEASE OF TREKT UW PLANT
Is an adult Belgian allowed to grow one cannabisplant, yes or no?
How it ended: see Indymedia
Three times is ship right. On Monday 5 May 2008, Trekt Uw Plant would for the third time test a ministerial guideline on cannabis in Belgium. At 15.30 uur the president of the association Trekt Uw Plant, Philippe De Craene, planted a cannabis seed, from which his personal plant would grow. According to the guideline, the possession of this personal plant is not persecuted. This plant would grow on a place where no public disorder is being caused and which is not accessible to minors. The lord mayor of Antwerp, Patrick Janssens, was informed of the address of this place.
The planting of the seed happened during a press conference that took place in the Paviljoen, at the Konijnewei, a 100 meters of the Palace of Justice in Antwerp. This place is publically accessible, but the conference was organised in such a way that minors will not be present.
Shortly after the planting of the seed, Philippe De Craene was arrested and released 2 hours afterwards. Itn is still not clear what he is being accused of. Soon there will be more details.
On Saturday 3 May 2008, the Antwerp police intervened brutally in the Worldwide Marijuana March, that took place in 240 cities in the world. Only in Rio de Janeiro and Antwerp the authorities intervened in this March. You can read a report on these events (in Dutch) at Indymedia or watch (in English) at You Tube, Google, , or Daily Motion.
Trekt Uw Plant organised the event to give the startsign for the new growing season. The members of the association received their start package, consisting of three cannabis seeds, a flower pot and a manual on how to grow cannabis. With this package, in principle one plant can be grown. In the presence of the press, the three board members of the association planted a cannabis seed for their own personal plant.
The purpose of the plant seeding action was to test the Belgian ministerial guideline, according to which the possession by an adult of max. 3 grammes and 1 cannabisplant, without the presence of any aggravating circumstances will not be persecuted.
Legal insecurity and legal disequality are the greatest danger for a state of law. Every citizen has the right to know clear- and concretely what is allowed and what not. If this is not clear, the citizen can not be punished.
The question is: is there a tolerant policy on cannabis in Belgium or not? Is an adult Belgian allowed to grow one cannabisplant, yes or no? If not, then 8 years of parliamentary working groups, scientific research, circulars and governmental policy papers (elaborated with tax money) have had no value. The ministerial guideline of 2005, which has been the result of this process, can then be definitively put in the garbage.
We have not yet received an answer on this question. On Saturday 3 May, the police arrested the three board members who had planted their seed and accused them of growing cannabis with as aggravating circumstance the possible presence of minors and the causing of public disorder.
By presenting this “aggravating circumstance” and “public disorder” argument the ministerial guideline was not applied. There has been made an official record, the planted seed and a small quantity of cannabis (less than 3 grammes), the personal possession of some members, were confiscated, as well as information material such as books, flyers and T-shirts.
During the action no minors were present. The organisers consumed no cannabis themselves in public and had done everything to ask the public to refrain from doing this as well. Until the police intervened the event was peaceful and quiet, after the police had arrested the organisers the Vrijdagmarkt became an open air cannabis consumption room. The action of the police led also to various people throwing their cannabis away in panic, so this became very easily accessible to minors.
The planting of the seed for one personal cannabis plant is actually a test of the state of law in Belgium. After years of parliamentary debate the agreement has been made to respect the principle of cultivation of cannabis for personal use. Any disturbance of the seed planting, by the legal authorities or by others, in fact violates this principle. This can only benefit those who have no interest at all in this principle: the criminal organisations.
On behalf of Trekt Uw Plant,
Kris Verdonck, Philippe De Craene 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)