For decades Wim Kruiswijk has lived on the Dutch coast walking the beach before people arrive and after they have left. His treasure: messages in bottles. Over the years he has collected thousands, and turned beach combing into meaninful friendships. He’s also become extremely knowledgeable about why people write messages and bottles, as well as what else is happenning to the environment along the coast. Today on the podcast, in assocation with the For Keeps podcast, we pay a visit to Wim Kruiswijk to learn about his incredible experiences with messages in bottles.
Before the city of Maastricht chose to pursue marijuana prohibition policies they first asked a team of researchers to examine what impact it would have. The researchers found that the proposed “membership” system for coffeeshops, which included banning all non-residents from going into establishments, would have disastrous effects on the cities public safety, health, and economic situation. In response, the government demanded new research with results that would support their new mission to shut down marijuana cafe’s that have existed since the 1990’s. Today there are a several municipalities that have adopted this prohibition policy that is scheduled to go national by January 2013, and the results are already being felt. Nicole Maalsté is a researcher from Tilburg University who has been examining the issue of drug policy and coffeeshops in the Netherlands over the course of several decades. She joins me on today’s podcast to explain what her work has revealed and just how the relationship between politics and research has led to a startling reality on the street level.
When it comes to drug policy and coffeeshops in the Netherlands, we rarely hear the voices of those who work behind the counter and see how things work (or don’t work). Nel has lived and worked in the coffeeshop world for over 5 years and in that time he has seen the daily routine of the cannabis industry and the politics that revolve around it. What he knows is not the political theater that so often gets reported on in the media, his story is the reality that somehow does not always trump the growing list of myths that surround cannabis in the Netherlands.