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A Dutch millionaire opens a cannabis museum in Barcelona and supports its legalization

Set in the Gothic district, the museum is designed to explain to its visitors the secrets of marihuana and in fact it clearly advocates for the legalization of this drug. In the inauguration day, Duch businessman Ben Dronkers was joined by Virgin owner Richard Branson, who thinks that marihuana can help the country out of the crisis


26 May 2012 03:41 AM


ACN / Pol Solà / Hannah Landau

Barcelona (ACN). A Dutch millionaire opened the Hemp Museum Gallery last week in the center of Barcelona. This cannabis museum is designed to explain the story and the usefulness of the plant. At the same time it promotes the use and consumption of cannabis through some messages in favor of its legalization. This museum is the continuation of one located in Amsterdam since 1985, founded by the same millionaire, Ben Dronkers. In Barcelona this museum is set in the Mornau Palacio, in the Gothic district. The museum hosted for the first time the Cannabis Culture Awards which generally take place in Amsterdam but will be held twice this year in order to inaugurate the Catalan capital\u2019s museum.

For the inauguration the British millionaire Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin conglomerate and president of Global Commission of Policies on Drugs, was present along with the mayor of Rasquera, Bernat Pellisa who reiterated that cannabis can help local towns resolve the current economic crisis.

With such a large media attention Dronkers was proud and pleased to show off his work. He has been able to transform the old palace into a new museum. In its various rooms you can see many objects related to cannabis, both artistic and functional, from paintings to pipes, sculptures and film posters. You can also find explanations about the cultivation, and medical and industrial use of cannabis - for example to produce energy, make paper or aid navigation for boats traveling from Europe to America.

According to Dronkers cannabis \u201Cwill be the penicillin of the future\u201D and can \u201Csave the planet\u201D avoiding petrol consumption, the emission of CO2 or logging.

Meanwhile, Branson defended the legalization of these drugs, especially marihuana. According to him they should be considered in the same way as alcohol and tobacco. We should also help people addicted to these substances and not imprison them. He approved the legislation of some countries like Holland where it is legal to consume in Coffee Shops, and Spain, where some smoking clubs allow it as well. He considers that the government would bring in extra income if cannabis was to be made legal and taxed as alcohol or tobacco. This measure could help Spain to solve the current economic crisis they are going through.

Bernat Pellisa used the same arguments. Even though he refused to speak about the marihuana plantation planed for his city, he seemed honored to be invited for the event and assured that the income from this plant could help municipalities.

Branson also said that legalization would not increase the consumption of cannabis, as has been shown with alcohol or tobacco. Similarly, Dronkers said that legalization would eliminate the drug dealers as intermediaries, allow to pay lower prices for drugs and better prices to farmers.

In the first edition of the Cannabis Culture Awards - organized outside of Holland \u2013 price winner included Branson, Todd McCormick, American photographer and cannabis activist, Frederick Polak, Dutch psychiatrist specializing in this field, Lester Grinspoon, psychiatrist at Harvard, and Fernanda de la Higuera, known as a Spanish cannabis activist.

Branson received awards from the Global Commission of Policies on Drugs. Some of its members include Carlos Fuentes, Mexican writer, Cesar Gaviria, former President of Colombia, Ernesto Zedillo ex-President of Mexico, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil, George Papandreou, Greek ex-Prime Minister, Javier Solana and the writer Mario Vargas Llosa.


  • Dutch millonaire Ben Dronkers in the museum (by ACN)

  • Dutch millonaire Ben Dronkers in the museum (by ACN)