Veteran California marijuana author and advocate Dale Gieringer was honored in Amsterdam Nov. 25 as the High Times magazine "Freedom Fighter of the Year."
Gieringer has been the California director of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws since 1987. He is a co-author of the Marijuana Medical Handbook, billed as a "practical guide to the therapeutic uses of marijuana." He was also a leading supporter of the Proposition 19 measure - to legalize marijuana for recreational use - that was defeated by California voters Nov. 2.
Weeks later, Gieringer, took a bow before a cannabis altar in Amsterdam, accepting his award at the High Times' international Cannabis Cup.
While Proposition 19 supporters hailed economic prospects for California pot tourism had the initiative passed, Gieringer scolded the Dutch in his acceptance speed for a proposal to ban foreigners from its famous cannabis coffee houses. Government officials have complained of congestion and crime from a glut of international weed seekers.
"I thanked the city of Amsterdam for its hospitality and called on the world to protest the Dutch government's recent proposal to ban foreigners from coffee shops," he said.
Banning pot tourists, he said, "is sheer lunacy from an economic, moral, or public health sense."
Pictured: Gieringer at the cannabis altar in Amsterdam. Courtesy Dale Gieringer.