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Maria, in bouquet, for her loyal defenders.

Letter of presentation to the Norwegian Nobel Committee of the candidacy for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize of the

Grand Bouquet Cannabique

of Defenders of Human Rights and the Citizen

#AuChanvreCitoyens!

Introduction

On the occasion of this year’s festivities celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Cannabis Information and Research Collective (CIRC), the Drugs Peace Institute (DPI - Netherlands), at the invitation of the PAKA association, has the honor and the pleasure to present for your consideration of the Nobel Peace Prize 2021, the candidacy of the Grand Bouquet Cannabique of Defenders of Human Rights and the Citizen. This group of courageous cannabis activists, mostly French, agreed to testify to the discrimination of some 5 million men and women in their country persecuted for their preference for consumption of the Cannabis sativa plant. Their testimonies in front of your venerable committee constitute an offense under French law which prohibits presenting the cannabis plant in a favorable light. Despite their criminal prosecution provided for by law, the members of the Grand Bouquet nevertheless wish to testify because only testimony can lift the ignorance of their fellow citizens, free science from its bondage and force politicians to listen. Moreover, a crime committed under French law before your Committee is nothing more than a violation of human rights by this French legislator if the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and international treaties, such as the right to freedom of expression, are denied. The crime committed by the members of the Bouquet Cannabique then becomes an act of civil disobedience, intended to contribute to the well-being of their fellow citizens. This presentation aims to show you that cannabis activism, in France and elsewhere, fits perfectly with the defense of human rights and of the citizens as it is articulated in France since 1791 in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen and, for the whole world, by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. The denial of these rights by the French government is a flagrant violation of the rights of the citizens of the French Republic, undermining the foundations of freedom, justice and peace. Without being a hypocrite, a cannabinophile - someone who adores cannabis - cannot help but present cannabis in the most favorable light.
This is exactly what Le Grand Bouquet Cannabique intends to do, for the elucidation of your Nobel Committee and for the promotion of world peace.

1. The legal situation of cannabis in the world.

In observing human rights in the world there is a feeling of crisis and it is certain that we have come at a crossroads. The relative decline of Europe and the United States suggests a multipolar world order that results in a more fragmented legal and political arena. At the same time, government policies in many countries appear to be engaged in a "global war on NGOs," including those seeking new conceptions that make human rights compatible with the rights of nature. And although the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination has grown considerably, for example with age, disability, gender reassignment, civil unions &
partnerships and gender preference, consumer preference is not one of them. Likewise, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, defined in art. 18 of the Declaration of Human Rights is still interpreted very restrictively and entheogenic substances, although at the origin of all the great religions of the world, are still not recognized as such.(The Batéké drugs peace offer)

For users of spirit enhancing substances, such as cannabis, the Charter fell short of their expectations, because instead of enjoying its protection they have been systematically persecuted like no other group of people. The rights of users of these substances are violated around the world and they are not even exempt from the death penalty. In addition, extrajudicial killings are making a comeback, this time of drug users in Philippine cities, where they are murdered with impunity by state agents and vigilantes tolerated by the state. Under the patronage of their president Duterte and, by virtue of their partnership with the DEA, with the seal of the US and, because of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, under the aegis of the United Nations.

This should come as no surprise because the UN's own drug policy resulted in a control system operating outside the International Bill of Human Rights. A system that tolerates the ethnocide of indigenous peoples (Evo, mama coca’s myopic soldier – Bolivia, 1993 – 2013) and incites others - like the current government of the Philippines - to genocide drug addicts and drug traffickers. The underlying reason for this split is the historic opposition between the wishes of peoples and those of nation states, between human rights and the maintenance of power. This dilemma broke up the Universal Declaration and was resolved in 1961 by the Single Convention, in favor of the nations.

Art. 18 of the Declaration, on freedom of thought, belief, and religion, implies the freedom to change religion or belief as well as the freedom to manifest one's religion or belief alone or in common, both in public and in private. This freedom puts an end, in theory, to the omnipotence of the great world religions which, throughout history, have succeeded in maintaining the monopoly on the spiritual life of the people through the prohibition of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, denying in this way the individual experience of the divine. Freedom, referred to in art. 18, is only guaranteed when religion is interpreted as re-ligere, the re-reading of texts, obedience to laws, but not if it is lived as re-ligare, to re-relate with our own feelings, with the heart, the natural source of good and evil.

This opposition between individual sovereignty in spiritual matters and the sovereignty of the law, historically personified by the State, was regulated by the 1961 Convention. It stipulated that drug consumption is a plague for the individual and constitutes an economic and social danger for humanity and that, mindful of the physical and moral health of humanity, cannabis and other spirit enhancing substances, albeit non-addictive and in no way harmful to others, must be classified in the categories of the most dangerous substances. Despite the long therapeutic and religious tradition of these substances, their use was subjected to the capitalist morality of American evangelism, that is, prohibited. This consecrated a theft, by the highest secular authority, of the religious sovereignty to

withdraw one’s mind temporarily from the architecture of civilization, and thus moving from one's socially constructed self-awareness towards cosmic consciousness.
This entire prohibitionist narrative has recently been challenged. In December 2020, in Vienna and Washington, the respective UN and US capitals of prohibition, it was decided to reconsider the characteristics and the criminalization of cannabis, in favor of the plant. It seems that humanity can no longer escape the conclusion that the prohibition of cannabis was a historical error, inspired by the lie of the Single Convention of 1961. There is talk about apologizing to the countless victims of this cowardly war and compensating them for the serious damages they have suffered.

2. The legal situation of cannabis in France.
Unfortunately, this conclusion is not accepted by many prohibitionist regimes, including France. The 5th Republic continues to punish those who dare to present cannabis in a favorable light and has just instituted a new fixed tort fine (AFD: Amende forfaitaire delictuelle)) for the misdemeanor of narcotics use in public places. This fine is also given to people discovered in roadside tests to have used cannabis in the privacy of their homes, forcing these users to stay at home for days on end if they want to escape prosecution by the administration of the State, supposed guarantor of citizens' right to health and happiness, and freedom of opinion and religion. This AFD-fine transfers punitive powers from the justice department to that of the police administration, denying the fined legal recourse, and cannot be seen but as a cynical attack in the French government ’s rearguard fight against 5 million cannabis using citizens.
Béatrice Budin, a veteran of 30-years of French cannabis resistance sighs: "as a consumer I no longer leave my home calmly, I am afraid of the police who are supposed to protect me." President Macron thus flouts the rights of the Republic's children???, a betrayal not only of his electorate, which he promised cannabis legalization, but also of the Republic’s basic values.
Now that the Macron government has decided that cannabis is “the country's shit” and that anyone who touches it is punishable by simple administrative decision, it seems high time that cannabis users show the country and its executive how great this plant is, and how it brings happiness and wellbeing to its users.
The Drugs Peace Institute is therefore pleased that Eric Chapel, founder of the PAKA association, has invited French cannabis activists to form a “Grand Bouquet Cannabique of Defenders of Human Rights and of the Citizen,” and to invite them to be witness to the benefits of cannabis through their activism.

3. Looking for recourse abroad for failure to be heard in France.
Eric recalls that in a criminal case in 2014 for self-cultivation of cannabis for therapeutic use, his judge told him that he had to stop or otherwise go and live abroad. Now that President Macron has decided he wants to sue all users for their consumption preference, they should all go and live abroad if they don't hide in their own country to escape the terror of the war on drugs.
A somewhat similar experience befell Adriaan Bronkhorst, who was introduced to cannabis in the French embassy in Congo-Brazzaville (Extase in the Case de Gaulle) and there witnessed a long list of officials as user-colleagues. But when he wished to discuss these experiences in court, his defense was refused, and he was expeditiously summoned to leave the country. (Valenciennes 1998 : the refusal to render justice).

Eric believes that it is legitimate to continue living in France while opposing the French government from abroad for its flagrant violation of his basic human rights, presumably guaranteed in the Republic’s constitution. A first group of ten militants has agreed to come forward to testify of their life as a cannabinophile, in the hope that their testimony to the Norwegian Nobel Committee will convince its members that the use of cannabis is beneficial to man and the world.

Bon pour la Terre, Bon pour la Tête. (BPLT2- Good for the Earth, Good for the Head). As the members of the Bouquet tell it, "All members sincerely agree that they have no choice but to speak before your Nobel Committee with the highest praise and respect for the cannabis plant, since they can only present it in a most favorable light, so that whoever wishes or needs it can learn from it and benefit from it with confidence, and use it as an adequate guide for its material, therapeutic and liberating applications”.

4. The Drugs Peace Institute’s understanding of Cannabis.
In Antiquity: Smashing the Lie

Cannabis has grown since very ancient times all over the planet, a little bit longer here, a little less there, like in the Americas were it only arrived after Columbus did. Each tribe or nation gave the plant a name, such as Haoma in the Persian Gathas poem that describes how the prophet Zarathustra “Smashed the Lie” after consuming it. The Rigveda also tells us how after drinking Soma, the Lie was taken care of by Indra: “who smashed that one, the first-born of Dragons.” And at our end of history Charles Tart noted in his 1971 study on marijuana users:

"Drug-education programs sponsored by schools and government agencies are viewed with scorn and amusement by users, since their own and friends' experiences with marijuana convince them that the instructors are ignorant or lying."


Dutch poet Simon Vinkenoog expressed in his own jubilant words what all users feel:

"It laughs and gives us courage, it is pure nature,
Each moment here and now. 
The high, that desired effect, that awakes your curiosity.
What's it all about? what is happening to the world and the law?
Put your best foot forward
And throw the lie forever overboard."

From the beginning of civilization in Mesopotamia up to the present day, marihuana (as well as other spirit-enhancing substances) has been deceptively portrayed as infantilizing, deranging, or wicked; at some moments even its mention was declared a crime.
This has happened around the globe, and inquiring about the reasons for this historic suppression, we find that the answer was given succinctly already in the ancient Indian and Iranian sayings quoted above: because the spirit-enhancing substance exposes the lies, it destroys them. This was easy to claim of course, but the truths of ancient mythologies are not always apparent, and might even be deceitful concoctions of unscrupulous scribes. It seems therefore best to illustrate the correctness of the above sayings at the hand of a user's personal description of the mental process sparked by marijuana consumption and, against this contemporary account, assess the veracity of these ancient reports.

The Heart against the Lie
"Back in Montreal, in my early twenties, I had become a drop-out, a completely lost soul, and for nothing better to do I accompanied a friend to a party where a joint was passed around as we entered.
After having inhaled a puff of the marihuana smoke, I looked at a light bulb and was blinded as its light exploded and filled my entire field of vision. Once I had regained my eye sight I walked out onto the street and realized that my mind had been wiped clean. I looked at lights growing bigger and bigger and only when they were very big, I realized that they were the headlights on approaching cars. After that it took me a lot of work again to find out that the signs across the street where letters on the front of a house, saying ‘night-store.’ A lot of mental work later I finally managed to safely cross the street and entered in the store to buy a snack. Bit by bit I slowly passed by the brilliant items on a shelve, toothpastes, soaps, bags of salt and sugar and so on. I gave each one all the attention it demanded, as if it were a beautiful gem, and upon recognizing it and realizing that it was not what I was looking for, I moved on to the next enchanting object.
When I’d gotten to the end of the shelve, I saw a man looking at me. As I walked up to him, I noticed hatred and fear in his eyes, feelings that I often also harbored. But in my innocent state, instead of responding to his hostile glance with an aggressive one of my own, I kept on staring steadily at him. Then I lost myself completely in his eyes, and an immense feeling of happiness overwhelmed me. The word is probably bliss, for I was no longer aware of any ideas or feelings beyond that happiness. Once I regained my thoughts again it struck me that for not giving in to my own fear and hatred, and by opening up to this other person, I had been liberated from my own confused self. Through that store owner’s eyes I had embraced the self beyond me, the self called cosmic self. Instinctively I also understood the message of the man of Nazareth who in his days had preached to the wretched of the earth that the way to happiness is through your surrender to your neighbour. Heaven, the Christian Church had taught me only comes at the end of life, only after one dies. But my toke of marihuana taught me that Jesus had wanted us to know that heaven can be had right here, by opening up to the other. He was not talking about the other who far away is waiting for my financial support, but the other right here in front of me, physically present, ready to be engaged.
Thanks to this illumination I recreated my entire mental network, as one by one long-held ideas were forced to confront the feelings of total bliss and belonging just experienced. There could be no deception now that my heart ruled my brain. Understanding came back, no longer commanded by society’s rules but by the dictates from the heart. This instinctive,
existential knowledge that has accumulated at least since the moment that the universe burst into existence, is ever present in our blood and trumps all the fake knowledge incessantly propagated by third parties that only have their own interests at heart.
And then another thought occurred to me: the other is not hell! Some years earlier, still in high school, I was asked to study Jean-Paul Sartre’s phrase “Hell are the Others,” and by strenuously trying to understand what the philosopher had meant, the doors of hell had actually opened up for me in a terrifying nocturnal experience. The memory of it had hounded me ever since and I would regularly go insane imagining that I was stuck, alone, and forever in the place I would be in at that particular moment. I would bang my head on the wall in despair, trying to escape the horrendous ideas pursuing me without mercy.
But now I had felt that the other is not hell, that the other is my brother. The fear of death which since that hellish night had terrorized me, had disappeared; together with my confused ego I had lost it in a moment beyond the notion of time, and now could understand what the ancients meant by acquiring immortality.
The rush of feelings of bliss and the ideas they inspired were too much to share with the bewildered store owner. I bade him goodbye and rushed out onto the street, where I danced for joy on this most wonderful summer evening at the foot of the Mount-Royal."

The above mentioned experience was a personal one, different in the way that everybody’s marihuana experience is unique. But there is an essence that all of us consumers of the plant share, namely the diminishing presence of our ego, allowing for a fuller appreciation of our surroundings, the other people in the first place. This self-effacing property of marihuana use shows especially in the laughing bouts delighting us when we have only recently started to consume the herb. As we become more aware of the others around us, we also suddenly become aware of the inconsistencies, or the ludicrousness, or the meanness of our attitude towards them. Small character traits, nothing you’d normally notice but which in our innocent state are plainly embarrassing. Since our self has retreated, there is no longer the possibility for a remorseful withdrawal within it. All we can do is look at that withered self and shower it with a healthy dose of self-mockery, bursting out in hilarious laughter, the way that, according to the Greek historian Herodotus, the ancient Scythians were said to enjoy their cannabic vapor baths.

The Lie about Cannabis
Now it is said that cannabis use results in psychosis, which is the difficulty to determine what is real and what is not. This certainly seems to be the result of the use of the plant. But instead of condemning that use for this reason it is good to acknowledge that psychosis is a symptom, not an illness. The psychosis caused by cannabis consumption exposes our mind’s alienation from our physical being. Suddenly things are not what they always seemed to be. The world we have always imagined doesn’t conform to the world we now see. Our distorted way of thinking about the world is shown to be wanting, and foremost among these distortions is the perception of marihuana. Cannabis users the world over know that the official information about the plant is fake, even if sustained by academicians, press and politicians alike. We can therefor question who is sick, the person that used marihuana or the politically correct society that indoctrinates its citizens with fake knowledge.
Going back to the dawn of civilization, we find a first coherent tale that will give us a clear indication of the cause for and the ways of disinformation about the use of spirit-enhancing substances. The terms used in those days, some 40000 years ago, referred to what were considered the results of these substances for the consumer’s health: food and water of life, plant of rejuvenation and fruit of knowledge of good and evil, among others. Even if the actual name of the plant was never explicitly mentioned, cannabis is the natural candidate since it had been the spirit-enhancing plant par excellence all over the ancient world. It is safe to presume that whenever the ancients mentioned a divine substance, they probably referred to the cannabis plant. If it were not cannabis, we know from the myths in which there is talk about them that it was a similar natural product that would efface the mind, open the gates of the heaven beyond, and infuse the brain with knowledge from the heart.

The story in question recounts how Adapa, the servant of Enki, the god of commerce, was deceived by his master about the effects of the life-giving substance. As a result, Adapa refused the food and water of life offered by Anu, the god of heaven, and was sent away by him from heaven’s gates, back to his netherworld. The ending of the story is lost, but looking around our world, we can but observe that the commerce god’s deceptive message has stuck ever since. His loyal servants are thriving in a plastic replica of the brilliant natural world experienced once marihuana has removed one's mental blinkers.
The fact that throughout history the people have been told lies about cannabis is pointedly illustrated by a complaint from the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, venting in diplomatic terms the frustration of the academic community about the barriers put in the way of unbiased cannabis research. Might it be that the god of commerce, though always desiring to while a bit longer in bed, is finally letting go of his fake version about the dangers of the plant?
Even so, in the mean time millions upon millions of young people are still being persecuted and prosecuted for their use of this life-giving plant and are being denied the proper information society should be giving them about its use. As a result, a huge part of the world’s population enters adult life with existential problems, starting with their distrust of the voices of their academic, media, medical, political, and even parental authorities.

Civilization has gone astray, the Lying Dragon still must be smashed
The next story treating the spirit-enhancing experience is the Epic of Gilgamesh. Its hero, Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, was denied entrance to the world of the immortals, and sent away in the company of Urshanabi, the boatman banished for having ferried Gilgamesh there. On the way home the king managed to lose the plant of rejuvenation, a gift from the gods for the people back home. Gilgamesh bewailed his loss, but not for too long. When shortly afterwards the two of them arrived at the walls of his city, he had completely forgotten about the plant of rejuvenation, and declaimed jubilantly, for all posterity to take notice:

“Go up, Urshanabi, on to the wall of Uruk, and walk around,
survey the foundation platform, inspect the brickwork!
(See) if its brickwork is not kiln-fired brick,
and if the Seven Sages did not lay its foundations”!
(George, A; Gilgamesh: A Critical Edition; Tablet XI: 323-326)

Thrown out of heaven – a figure of speech for being cut off from the voice within – and having lost the plant that could have given access to that divine voice, king Gilgamesh held up the city as the new and only future point of reference. More than any other text from antiquity, the story of Gilgamesh heralds the birth of civilization, the new era in which humankind will make the earth in the image of the brilliance of the realm beyond, lost, maybe for ever.
The ancient scribe that denied the king immortality duped us by claiming the superiority of the walls of the city, symbolizing the laws of the ruler. If only he would have left us access to that realm beyond those walls, and beyond the mind, to enable us to return there in times of need, when the laws would become too onerous for humans as well as the natural environment to bear. We would have been able to continue getting the existential knowledge we desperately needed all along to correct the course of our lives and of our manmade civilization.
The author claimed that civic life would be enough to steer human destiny: had not the Seven Sages laid its foundation? But these Seven Sages didn’t come from the heart, from beyond the mind and beyond the world of mortals; these sages were an invention of the scribes of Enki, the god of commerce. The scribe did dupe us, because the god within, the voice we can hear in times of illumination, that voice never evicts us from the divine realm, it always embraces us as an equal part of the entire creation. It was the scribes, the literati and academicians who upheld with deceitful reasoning the twisted reality of their rulers. From the Ancient East, via Jerusalem and Rome and all the way to Washington, the deception spewing dragon has with ever-growing force alienated humankind from its mooring in the heart. In order to give humankind a chance of surviving, and to show respect for truth and the truth-searching younger generations, the prohibition of cannabis and other spirit-enhancing substances must come to an end.

The Congolese Bashilange call it Bena-Riamba, Hemp-Brother, and musician Louis Armstrong referred to it as a friend. We have tried to convey that the plant is a gift of mother nature, helping us to cleanse our perception of reality in troubled times. Although most people have been led to believe that the plant is an evil to be extirpated, we hope that this little essay might have shown the plant's peace and understanding stimulating beauty. Rewarding this herbs’ courageous defenders of the “Grand Bouquet” with the Nobel Peace Prize, would be a milestone for peace in our troubled world.