And now thanks to the pragmatic US states of Colorado and Washington, they set THE BIG PRECEDENT...
In 2012, Colorado & Washington became the first US states in history to legalize recreational cannabis.
So you can bet that Cannabis Cups for non-medical uses are sure to flourish in the US.
But the grand daddy of them all, the one and original that started EVERYTHING more than a quarter of a century ago, is the legendary Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam.
In case you don't know, Amsterdam is a European city in the country of The Netherlands, which is also known as Holland. And since 1975, cannabis has been de-criminalized there.
Every year since 1987, the Cannabis Cup has taken place in Amsterdam without interruption.
Although in 2011, there was a slight interruption...
That interruption came in the form of an organized police raid on the second to last day of the Cup.
Everyone in attendance at the Cannabis Cup expo building went through a search and seizure of any cannabis related products in possession. Then everyone was free to go.
It was the only time ever that Amsterdam police disrupted the Cup.
But apparently the police were quite polite about it as they carried out the operation (the Dutch word for police is 'politie', very similar to the English word 'polite').
A BIG SMOKE OUT TOOK PLACE AS PEOPLE WAITED THEIR TURN TO BE SEARCHED.
Police had no objections to those who preferred to ingest all the cannabis they could rather than hand it all over to the cops.
It was probably one of the most civilized drug raids ever.
Afterwards, all Cup activities took place as normal.
Why the raid?
There are several versions out there. But the most logical one is that the police wanted to show a bit of muscle against cannabis.
Well, there was an unusually conservative government in office ruling Holland at that time.
That government put soft drugs in it's crosshairs:
But the conservative government that made the new law was replaced in late 2012.
The new government that came into office ammended the law, allowing local municipalities to decide for themselves who can and who can't enter their cannabis coffeeshops.
The mayor of Amsterdam has always said he doesn't want to ban tourists.
And as of today, it's business as usual in Amsterdam's 250 cannabis coffeeshops, tourists and all.
In January 2013 however, things weren't quite so clear. The Cannabis Cup organizers were still in doubt about whether the Cup would go on.
Thankfully, things in Amsterdam have continued to run.
So the Cannabis Cup is on baby!
Join us for the 28th Annual Cannabis Cup 2015 in Amsterdam Holland, taking place as always during Thanksgiving week (that's at the end of November for all you non-American folk out there).