The biggest celebration of cannabis in the weed capital itself, the Netherlands celebrated its 8th annual Cannabis Liberation Day weed festival, and it was nothing short of awesome!

Cannabis Liberation Day celebrates the international weed culture and shows the benefits of the plant. The annual festival also calls for tolerance and widespread use of hemp as a durable resource and challenges the criminalization of the plant, the consumers, coffee shops and cultivators.

It’s also a free event, given the number of sub-events and performances the festival has to offer. Along with some live acts and DJs, and a full-blown hemp market, there’s also a Cannabis Film Festival that happens along with Cannabis Liberation Day.

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(Courtesy: Maarten Delobel / VICE)

The festival itself dates back to 2009, when the Netherlands joined the bandwagon and started their own festival to counter stringent cannabis regulations in the country. The rules as of now in terms of weed use is: a person can have only 5 grams of cannabis on them at any given point in time, advertising isn’t allowed at all, and coffee shops can stock only 500 grams of cannabis. You can only grow up to 5 plants legally for personal use. These rules were made way back in 1976, and no major amendments have been made to them yet.

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(Courtesy: Maarten Delobel / VICE)

In 8 years, Cannabis Liberation Day has become quite an extravaganza, attracting cannabis enthusiasts from all parts of Europe and the rest of the world.

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(Courtesy: Maarten Delobel / VICE)

The 2016 edition featured DJs and musical acts like Will And The People, Dramali, Van Pierken, Covenant Sound System and United Sounds, apart from a few others. The main stage lineup was a mix of performers and speakers. The people who spoke were actively involved in weed legalization and regulation control in some or the other way. They had speakers like Has Cornelissen, founder of the organisation Legalize! that has organised street raves in the past to raise awareness about the war on drugs, and Nol van Schaik, a cannabis entrepreneur who runs The Hemp Dispensary.

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(Courtesy: Maarten Delobel / VICE)

What makes this festival stand out, though, is the Cannabis Film Festival that showcases the best documentaries and short films about cannabis, the war on drugs, legalisation and a bunch of related stuff. It happens in the biggest Ger (Mongolian nomad tent) of Europe. You can watch movies, documentaries and comedy clips on the plant for free, or join a panel discussion.

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(Courtesy: Maarten Delobel / VICE)

This year’s edition was quite a success, and next year’s edition promises to be even better. If you’re a cannabis enthusiast of any degree, Cannabis Liberation Day should be on your bucket list.

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(Courtesy: Maarten Delobel / VICE)