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Hemp in The Netherlands in the 21st Century
and the
2008 Philatelic Santa Claus Present for Evo Morales Ayma, President of Bolivia

In December 2008, the Drugs Peace Institute (DPI) issued two series of 10 Dutch stamps each, with the dual aim of offering a Santa Claus gift to the then-President of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma, and to salute the Netherlands' marihuana-cannabis movement.
Both series provide an overview of activities in the cultivation, commercialization and consumption processes of coca and cannabis, and an insight into the social approach to these phenomena in Bolivia and the Netherlands, respectively.

The immediate reason for the emission was the fact that Evo failed to deliver on his solemn promises made to the European cannabis users, as the leader of South American cocaleros, as national representative and as president, to spare cannabis use in Bolivia. Obviously, from the start of his presidency in 2006, it was clear that Evo first had to deliver on his promise to his own indigenous constituency to have traditional coca use recognized under the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and that he could not give the world community any excuse to thwart that goal.
He succeeded in this with brilliance, but at the expense of cannabis use: not only was it not decriminalized, but the penal sentences were even increased. To please Uncle Sam and tease the white Bolivian cannabis users, the erstwhile colonizers.

With the help of the European Greens, the Transnational Radical Party, the German Die Linke, the Spanish Cannabis Social Clubs and the Netherlands’ cannabis industry, Evo had been able in the 1990’s to present his case abroad and gain national attention when nomina- ted as drugs pacifist for the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize. With a donation from his co-nominee, Sensi seedS’ Ben Dronkers, Evo was able to purchase a 4WD, enabling him to visit and organize the native cocaleros in the inhospitable and far-flung corners of the Tropics of Cochabamba, the cocalero stronghold from where he advanced to the Bolivian presidency.

The gift 'Mama Coca' to Evo Morales is presented in the form of a Santa Claus poem, an old Dutch custom celebrating the birthday of the saintly man on December 6, when Dutch people have Santa give presents to friends and family. The poem is always written as if coming from Santa Claus, who praises the beneficiary for her/his merits or admonishes her/him for her/his shortcomings. It was originally written in Spanish and has been translated into English.

The salute to “Hemp in the Netherlands in the 21st Century” presents businesses and organizations active in the cannabis movement in 2008. It was issued jointly with the V.O.C. (acronym for the Dutch name for “Alliance for the Abolition of the Cannabis Prohibition”).

Both issues were financed by the participating Dutch businesses. Part of the proceeds went to the V.O.C. and to ‘Trekt Uw Plant’, the first Cannabis Social Club in the Low Lands.
The Santa Claus poem was written by the DPI’s Frans Bronkhorst, the text for the Hemp issue by Denver, CO free-lance reporter Gregory Daurer. The Hemp Issue was presented to Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands in a letter written by ENCOD’s late Joep Oomen.

To view the two series go to 'Mama Coca' (English version) and 'Hemp in The Netherlands in the 21ste Century'

The series are sold by Ladiesantiques and Delcampe online auctions.