Little is still known about the police raid that closed the Cannabis Cup Expo at the Borchland in Amsterdam on Wednesday. Here's Ganjoa's account of the raid:
Police came up the center aisle in two columns, split and went down the side aisles two per booth until all booths had two police (at least). Supervisors had maps of the hall and certain booths marked with red circles, probably from earlier undercover work. The watchword for the day was “Pineapple” which had been heard just moments prior to entry by the police contingent. Initially there were no announcements; for the first 10 minutes everybody wondered what was going on. All commercial activity ceased and there were no more food or refreshments available, much less anything from the expo vendors. The bathrooms were closed.
After announcements were made, attendees were moved out of the exhibition area and a number of super-sized joint rolling parties ensued under the watchful eyes of the Dutch police. When the second announcement was made, people were allowed to leave and searched upon exiting. Only the folks in the exhibition hall were detained. If you were outside smoking tobacco there was no problem. At one point, one of the High Times staffers showed up at the back door and the folks in the booth signaled him to not come in AND to hide his staff badge.
Dutch police were generally friendly and polite as well as willing to have frank discussions with the detainees. All the weed was confiscated; not even the Dutch were allowed to keep five grams – with the exception of Soma whose medical card protected his 60-gram stash from confiscation. I heard a few stories of some local folks getting out with some stash – also that seeds weren't being confiscated or edibles. Everybody got out with their papers, lighters, tips, grinders and other convention trinkets, just not any weed.
Evidently some exhibitors had warning of the raid because they were giving away their samples – including the buds under the microscope in some circumstances. I received one such gift about a half hour before the raid and gave it to a guy who had just landed and hadn't even hit a coffeeshop or gotten high yet. The exhibitor arrested for 700 grams (Mila Jansen) had trash cuttings for hash-making demonstrations.
In the end there were ounces (if not pounds) of primo weed and hash scattered about the place. A group of about 60 were madly rolling and trying to smoke it all up but you couldn't give your weed away, there simply were no takers. One of the HT big shots took out about a half ounce of AK-47 and just dropped it on the floor. I guess the police cleaned the place up (otherwise some Dutch janitor is living like the King of Cannabis!).
Upon entering the search area, everyone was asked if they had any drugs on them, to which I replied, “Yes!” I retrieved my prescription bottle with four kinds of opiates in it and they just incredulously looked at the bottle and said, “Don't you have any weed?” “No, it's back there on the floor with everyone else's,” I replied. My person and bag were searched, and nothing was disturbed or confiscated. I was NOT at any time asked for ID, which was a good thing because I only had three credit cards on me and no passport.
After being dropped by bus at Amstel Station, it required about an hour to get back to the Red Light District and the Cannabis College to meet my spouse for a 6 pm lecture. When I arrived at 7 pm it had not started because their medical marijuana patient who was participating in the lecture got caught out at the expo and hadn't made it back yet. During the journey from Amstel Station, I noticed a heightened police presence throughout the Centrum. No coffeeshops were closed, but I had little interest in hitting any of the big shops participating in the Cup.
I chose not return to the expo on Thursday. That night we attended the closing party at the Melkweg and were greeted by a big sign that said no tobacco or marijuana smoking was allowed inside. The High Times Cannabis Cup Closing Party and no weed was allowed to be smoked inside the building! Many people stayed for the awards and then left quite early for more smoker-friendly destinations other than the Melkweg.