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Pandemic

Contributing Creators Game Phillip Morris ROOTS - MAR/APR 2019

Generations: Lucia

Created By Ana Barretto, Vera Grosskop & Phillip Morris

 

Generations: Lucia tells the story of a Latin American woman escaping revolution in her home country by immigrating to the Netherlands in the mid-20th century.

The creators drew on personal experience to tell this story of the strength it takes to put down roots in a strange land. They hope to continue the game in future updates.

Click the image to play

Generations: Lucia was made for the Culture Arcade Game Jam organized by the Value Foundation and the Prince Claus Fund.

  *The game might not work properly on mobile devices. 
Jonas Guigonnat Prose ROOTS - MAR/APR 2019

Roots of a Rocking Political Event: The Brexit

Written by Jonas Guigonnat

The Tale of the Old King and the Dandy

The world around us is unlike anything it ever was. Changes operate permanently, even on a microscopic scale, technocrats transform mass-politics into digi-democracies and most of the western world asks itself what its identity really is.

Not that long ago the democratic world-view was claiming a victory on history.

Divisions between folks, ideologies, cultures, nations and continents were meant to make place for the last step of human modernity toward world unity. History was to show us how progress works toward its (democratic) accomplishment.

The past seemed – for a while – tangible, real and existent on its own. What we were told from above was the truth. Facts were facts, we heard, there was thus apparently no reason to doubt our version of the world and its history.

Those ideas came from old king Europe, who had, for a short historic while, the world in the grasp of his hand.

He once believed in being at the center of the universe. Every bit of wealth, knowledge and kingdom had to belong to him. When he discovered the West Indies – a little more than 5 centuries ago – he transformed the place into his own private garden and called it the Americas.

But this old king had a bad habit: turning his own children, who considered themselves lands, against each other in a fight to the death.

Some of them, who were sent to the American garden to be its guardians, had enough of this game, refused to obey and rebelled against their father. They discovered, far away from him, on that other continent, the possibilities of becoming an entity of its own – independent.

This new independent country had to be funded on values that were subversive to the old king, almost to the point of arrogance. Otherwise, they would have been destroyed by the one they were facing.

The conflict that followed was to be of legendary proportions, the old king trying to annihilate the rebels, who were developing and strengthening their new identity in the heart of the battle. As a result of that war, out of the ashes, rose the American Dandy.

Almost a century and a half later, some of his other children, fighting to divide the colonized world between each other, ultimately brought destruction to the old king – a conflict he ultimately lost after the whole world settled its score with him twice in half a century.

Without being the only or real winner coming out of the two world conflicts, the American Dandy was far stronger than the dying king, but willing to negotiate the new world order with what remained of him.

The young American Dandy was using norms and values familiar to the surviving children, they were easy enough to be understood by all. Those values were also to be universal and true for all humans, in the name of progress.

Let’s just doubt the idea that this progressive version of history really is the root of our chaotic present.

Photo by Gui Avelar

Stepping Out of the Fairytale

Human memory is the filter transforming the complicated soup of what lies behind us into a meaningful past. Collective memories are ones of political motivations and institutional signature. What we are told is thus nothing more than… what we are told.

It is then possible to see the last 70 years as something else than as a race to peace and unity. This race makes sense in a specific discourse: the American version of the democratic world-view, which did win many conflicts in the twentieth century to bring peace to the whole world. But every process, as far as the past is concerned, fluctuates and eventually changes into something different than what it was.

The transatlantic network wasn’t just a question of ideals.

With Stalin and Russia, as the biggest winners, taking all of the Balkan countries for himself, on the east side of the European continent, the clock was ticking. Some in Western Europe, out of the ruins of their country, saw the choice between a transatlantic world and a Soviet one as a devil’s choice.

Leaping Back In

But the Dandy had an ally in that choice: the dusty old British lord.

The British lord was, from the start, a part of the European family. But he liked to believe that he was different from the rest, an island thing as they say. At the end of World War II, he got that right in a way, and may have been the only one not really on the losers side in Western Europe. He was weakened and it paid.

Though he distrusted everyone and believed for a long time that he was meant to rule the world, he accepted the proposition made by Dandy – who was once his son, now considered a retarded nephew – while knowing he had to lose his colonies in other continents to close the deal.

With the British on his side, the Dandy thought it was just a question of time before the stubborn old king would give up his defense and accept his rule.

But in an unexpected turn of events, two of the king’s children, the French general and the almost totally destroyed German warlord, were creating a back-stop that was meant to diminish the dependence of West-Europe toward any foreign force in the future. The old French general was hoping to keep his colonies, and the vanquished German to avoid the same humiliation he experienced when signing at Versailles in 1919.

Old king Europe had to transform himself to survive and, making his way up between the Dandy and the Russians, he became at first an economic force to be internationally considered. But this new Europe wasn’t to play an important political role again just yet.

The ball was rolling in unexpected ways.

Shake Off the Tale

After two decades of struggle against too much influence from any party, and the refusal of decolonizing countries in Africa and Asia, the new Europe had, at the end of the 1960s, to pick a side. As an isolated rebel continent, it could not have stood against the forces at play.

The voice of the British neighborhood was still clearer to hear. They were asking for collaboration with the Americans. A compromise was the only option, and it was clear the old continent wasn’t going to take a dominant position in the negotiation. The dispute for the main vision of Europe was just starting.

It comes finally to one crucial decision: how centralized to make the politico-economic Europe.

To France, where centralization is the core of politics, it couldn’t be centralized enough. For the British it was the opposite, states had to maintain full sovereignty and use a political Europe mostly to keep peace and trades stable. Regulations were to be imposed only if necessary. Two visions still dividing the monopole of today’s European Union.

The dispute continued in the 70s and 80s, with new mythical figures like the conservative Margaret Thatcher on the British side (known as the Iron Lady for her toughness), the French socialist, François Mitterrand, and the German liberal, Helmut Kohl, coming on stage.

The moves that were made were tactical, each party realizing that hasty decisions could put the fragile collaboration in danger.

But then, a wall fell down.

The political balance inside of the European project itself, was to be shaken as a consequence of that falling wall, and some processes to be accelerated. The discussion about centralization took a new turn, as all of Eastern Europe, that was now free of the Soviet rule, was potentially to

“participate” in the project.

For the ones fond of centralized powers, it was clear that nothing could be done without strong political structures. European norms, values, and thus rules, had to be broadly accepted in order to receive an entrance ticket. The structures that had to ensure that this process went well could only be legitimately anchored in strong treaties and regulations.

A strong center of power in Europe was needed more than ever.

But the balance of power was also to in doubt. Germany became a whole country once again, reuniting east and west, but the implication were complex. The war that ended four decades earlier was still fresh in collective and individual memories. A strong Germany didn’t sound like a bright idea, knowing “what happened last time.”

Maybe also for that reason, even more power was given to the center of this symbiotic entity that was called the European Union. At its center was a French-speaking city located in Belgium: Bruxelles. The back-up place had to be in Strasburg, a French city which has been alternately German and French since the war between both countries in 1871. Compromise was thus made, in a way.

France emerged as one of the “rightful” founding fathers of the European project, and, without a doubt, was the most powerful, historically, politically, and economically. Therefore, he was also the most legitimized one to supervise the whole affair. Margaret Thatcher accepted on behalf of the United Kingdom (anything but too strong a Germany).

Photo by Jaime Casap

Towards an Ever Closer Union

Few things were refused by the British, like the Euro as a unique currency; the Iron Lady gave in on many points. The ball seemed to stop rolling and the traditional dispute about Europe to fade away. But this was just for a little while.

After a short period of happily ever after, between 1993 and 2001, the international atmosphere changed radically following the events on September 11, 2001. Wars were to be started again (mostly in the Middle-East) and the idea of the foreigner as an enemy came back into our daily lives.

Aside from the fear of terrorism, social problems were developing due to the enlargement of the European Union. Without frontiers, the continent was full of better opportunities for those living in countries trying to reconstruct themselves after almost 50 years of Soviet rule.

Some countries were more popular than others, as much for those running from conflicts in the Middle-East, as for the East-Europeans eager to make something new out of their lives. But Great Britain, and England in particular, was the Eldorado (as the “Jungle of Calais” shows us France would not be). Desperate souls from all horizons wanted to reach the new promised land.

The traditional reservations of Great Britain toward the centralized European project were, in this context, easy to revive. It is already clear where that ultimately brings us to.

Brexit is the End of a Long Tale

The reasons discussed above (among many others) may have contributed to the British voting for Brexit. Looking for the roots of this rocking event, one may stumble on the complexity of all kinds of processes, many of which aren’t always clear to us. What will happen is even less possible to answer – even a month before it happens.

Time will give its answer, laughing at us, as usual, when revealing the new reality emerging out of panic and chaos.

Abigail C. Keane ROOTS - MAR/APR 2019

A Life Missed Out On

Written by Abigail C. Keane

The year was 2075. It’s been twenty years since the creation of the TreeO2 tank – a significant day for many, helpful for few. Jackie saw some teachers putting up posters commemorating the event when she entered school that morning.

As she walked through the halls to her locker, she thought back to her early encounter with some demonstrators on the way to school. They were sharing a tank and coarsely chanting “Give us air! Give us air!” one after the other. One of them feebly threw a shoe toward her with a “damn the bourgeois!”

That was a close one.

Luckily, most days the smog detectors indicated a toxicity level way too high for any tankless poor sod to set foot unto the streets, though maybe a larger man could jog a block or two before passing out.

Jackie trudged into class and sat at her regular seat by the window. She deposited her tank in the circular hold on her left and took her notebook from her satchel. Mr. Peterson, a skinny, frail-looking guy of about 40, commenced the class with a regular “Ahem. Good morning everyone.”

The sky was lilac grey, with hints of yellow and orange glowing from the city lights.

Mr. Peterson pointed at the map on the board and began explaining The Transcendence, a revolutionary period that lasted from the 2040s to the 60s. “Does anyone know what about this period is revolutionary?” he asked. After a short silence, he sighed and continued, “As you may know, the 40s and 50s were a, um, climatically tumultuous period… But!” he picked up, “humanity re-built. And that’s why we are lucky enough to have oxygenated buildings, sand-proof suits, and, of course, the TreeO2’s.”

Jackie thought back to the poor airless group, her conscience feeling unease, her face betraying nothing.

I guess that’s just what it means to have bad luck.

Suffice to say, Jackie knew there was no God, no system, no meaning. Things just happened because they happened – an unappealing philosophy, but one that had been central to the rise of Moved Manhattan, Second Shanghai, and Nuevo Miami, among other rebirths.

Jackie’s attention was set back on track when Mr. Peterson tapped his stick on the map. “And can anyone show us how big the Sahara was before the 50s?”

Finally, something I know.

She walked up to the board and silently traced an outline – the figure seemed tiny compared to the giant that now took up over half of Africa. “Very good,” Mr. Peterson was pleased, “before you go back to your seat, could you please tell the class why the Sahara grew so much?”

Jackie frowned. It was an odd question to ask. “Well,” she began, “It’s hard to say. I mean, there could be a million different reasons why it changed… I don’t suppose it’s related to all the wildfires that burned down most of the world’s forests?”

“Oh no, no-no-no,” Mr. Peterson shook his head. “You were right the first time, we don’t know! That was a trick question class.” Jackie sighed in relief as she approached her desk. The teacher continued, “Once again class, we really can’t determine why anything happens. So there’s no use in dwelling on it.”

He sounds a bit too chipper.

Most of the records predating 2045 had been lost. According to old news reports, internet servers went down, erasing everything that was being stored digitally. No one she knew was really sure how that worked, or what any of the technical explanations meant. And she knew, as she had always been told, that there’s no use in dwelling on the past, or in questioning the present.

After all, there’s nothing we can do about it now.

Jackie spent the rest of that class thinking about how lucky she was to have a full family and an oxygenated house she didn’t have to share. She thought of her TV, and of course, her companion and ticket outside – the TreeO2.

ROOTS - MAR/APR 2019

Introduction: Roots

Dear Infected,

As our attentions rise further and further from the ground, we leap from platform to platform, until all we have built is surrounded by air. Those with vertigo grow dizzy and fall. Those with good lungs climb another rung on the stair.

“As well as holding plants to the ground, roots hold the ground together,” we read from the screens that relieve us of boredom as we tower in isolation.

Each step that we take that is not grounded in our roots but sprung from thin air wobbles the teetering structure. We continue, realizing that the higher we reach, the smaller the changes on the ground need to be to cause our towers to tumble.

“Who is making the Earth quake?” we scream, from our stilts as we point to muddied figures below in the muck. We stomp our high heels angrily, severing one more branch from its roots, causing the Earth to crumble further.

We hope to see you on the ground.

Sincerely,

Pandemic

Article Jonas Guigonnat MICRO CHANGES - JAN/FEB 2019

A Pragmatic War On Drugs

Written by Jonas Guigonnat

To the irritation of most locals, and of Dutch people in general, if you drop the name Amsterdam anywhere in the world, weed and coffeeshops will pop-up almost surely.

For decades Amsterdam has been considered a symbol of tolerance and freedom, mostly in left-winged communities, but as far as the right is concerned, it is a place of dangerous pragmatism. The Dutch media would say, “that’s typical ‘Nederlandse politiek.’”

If You’re Going To Amsterdam…

Amsterdam of the 60s, 70s, and 80s is often considered the city of hippy dreams, lost souls could wander around for ages, sleep everywhere in the city center, take their hits in the bright warmth of a summer day, while greeting tourist with an orgasmic flash. Yes, yes, yes (read in Dutch “ja, ja, ja”), there were a lot of alternative communities in the Netherlands in the 1970s with every recreational “visitor” sleeping in the Vondelpark. Fine.

Those stories of freedom were told over and over again to a whole generation of (then) youngsters, and some of the locals love to keep the myth alive. The reality that Dutch politicians saw in front of them was less romantic.

The heroin epidemic that began at the same time, that we nowadays consider past history, was sowing chaos in the streets. In some areas of the city center of Amsterdam, such as Nieuwmarkt, it wasn’t safe for anyone – not even for the residents. The other problem was the “cost” of those thousands of addicts.

Other places all around the country had to manage the same kind of circumstances. The Netherlands, which was at the time just crawling out of an economic crisis, wasn’t prepared, and politicians weren’t eager to take action.

Mellow Yellow by Michael Delaney

Fuck Authority

The friction between the political sphere and civil society wasn’t only one of economics. In the 1960s some movements that saw themselves as apolitical, were criticizing the dichotomous choice between democracy and communism. Both were equally authoritarian to them.

The Dutch politicians, who first tried to respond with force, were quickly put under pressure as new parties made their appearance, but most vanished in the decades thereafter. The D66 with Hans van Mierlo (created indeed in 1966) was among the few to remain. This “Democrats 66” was created in a period of confrontation, but they used a moderate and “reasonable” tone. Their values were based on liberalism, with an extended place for freedom of choice that included choosing to do drugs.

The motivations behind their wish for a legalization policy, instead of repression, were practically dictated by the dominant ideology. It was to keep the democratic values safe that some drugs needed to be legalized, not because taking drugs was an important issue in and of itself to them.

In 1976, the “Opium-law” (Opiumwet), mostly a repressive tool of 1928, was opened up and extended with a new distinction: hard and soft drugs. Coffeeshops, such as the famous and now closed Mellow Yellow in Amsterdam, were already open in the early 1970s, and because they were exclusively handling what are considered soft drugs they continue to exist durably – a contrast to the old-time speakeasy’s, where all kinds of substances could be purchased and consumed.

Instead of the romantic idea of a typical Dutch “way of life,” the coffeeshop appears to have been a pragmatic solution born out of circumstantial needs. People getting stoned inside designated areas, were less of a burden than junkies in the street. Still, to Dutch politicians, the drug culture was already becoming a shameful particularity, one which they tried at all costs to silence rather than defend in front of the international community.

The Netherlands: Tulips, Cheese & Compromises

Without trying to cover the political system of the Netherlands in its entirety, it is necessary to know a few things.

Since the creation of the Dutch House of representatives in 1848, power has been decentralized in the government. One hundred and seventy-one years later, the Dutch prime minister – ‘minister president’ or ‘premier’ –  consequently doesn’t have the power of other global leaders today, such as May, Macron, or Trump.

VVD, CDA, CU, and D66. Those are the four factions governing the Netherlands for just over a year now sharing ministries, political responsibility, and decisions. Only one of them is the “great architect” behind the Dutch drug policy.

The VVD (liberal right) party of the prime minister Mark Rutte, with 33 seats in the parliament (“second chamber”) ate the once great party of the country, along with the CDA (center/right-winged Christian democrats) with only 19 seats, they are traditionally against a regulated drug policy. For them, prohibition and repression are the best answer to the situation. The CU (center/left-winged Christian democrats) are also against it, but with only 5 seats in the chamber, they represent a small (but not negligible) political force. D66 (center liberal democrats) is thus the single ruling party then and now in favor of regulating drugs.

Parties in the House of representatives, their number of seats and their attitudes toward drugs (the parties mentioned previously are starred):

Party Political orientation(s) Seats Attitude toward drugs policy
VVD* Liberals/right 33 Repression, prohibition
PVV Populists/far right 20 Repression, prohibition
CDA* Christian democrats/centre-right 19 Pragmatic (soft) prohibition
D66* Democrat-liberals/centre 19 Legalization, liberalization
Groen Links Green social democrats 14 Pragmatic liberalization
SP Radical social democrats 14 Pragmatic liberalization
PVDA Social democrats 9 Pragmatic liberalization
CU* Christian democrats/centre-left 5 Pragmatic prohibition
PVDD Radical ecologists, animal activists 5 Pragmatic legalization
50Plus Party for older people 4 Pragmatic prohibition
SGP Orthodox protestants 3 Repression, prohibition
Denk Multicultural social democrats 3 Pragmatic liberalization
FvD Nationalist conservatives 2 Repression, prohibition

* Parties forming the government since 26 October 2017. They have altogether a total of 76 seats.

Is The Netherlands A Friend Or Foe In The War On Drugs?

The 1970s and 80s were surely not the right moments for “western” countries to liberalize their drugs policy. The biggest global players at the time were the US, the European Economic Community (the predecessor of the EU, which the Netherlands was already a member of), and the UN. In 1961 in New York, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was signed, including by the Netherlands, and prohibition became the international standard.

The heroin epidemic, which was raging throughout the west and somewhat more acutely in the US, was creating an atmosphere of panic. After the “war on drugs” was declared by President Nixon in 1971, the Netherlands was at risk of becoming an enemy with its lax policy. Politicians in The Hague were well aware of that but still developed a durable attitude of turning a blind eye to some drugs.

Aside from narco-tourism, this tactic seemed to be successful for a while. Even though many addicts were still on the loose, the “drug areas” were slowly becoming cleaner and safer. Coffeeshops were opening everywhere. Amsterdam was saturated, with a peak of 450 coffeeshops in 1995, pleasing thousands of Belgian, French and German tourists living nearby.

Officially, the rule was always 5 grams of weed per person, but nobody was actually enforcing it. Some coffeeshops were selling large quantities, helping the black market develop in other countries. Fortunately, the Dutch government was also profiting from the situation and using that money to invest in society thanks to all the tax money that came in.

Just kidding, it didn’t and still doesn’t tax the weed industry.

No Money, More Guns

That’s the whole magic of the “we don’t know anything about it” policy chosen by Dutch politicians. They changed the law in 1976 to make their cities safer, spare health care costs and ultimately obstruct the development of drug-related criminality, but refused to make a fully functioning policy out of it. Eventually, the first two objectives were met, however, when it comes to criminality, it is tempting to speak of a total failure. But what does the law say about coffeeshops exactly?

Establishments with a special license are allowed to sell small quantities, up to 5 grams per person, but the production is illegal. They are allowed to have a stash, but only up until a certain amount. Officially, the law forbids all purchasing of weed, which essentially gives coffeeshops free reign to choose their illegal suppliers, as the production isn’t regulated either. The objective is to allow the product to be processed without legally recognizing its existence, making taxes impossible.

The stash still had to be produced, and here shows how naively policy was built. No income taxes and a free pass for criminals.  Illegal activities didn’t disappear but instead became even more organized.

Small dealers, since the end of the 2010s, are almost nonexistent, but organizations – such as different local, Eastern-European and Asian mafia groups – have been well established since the 1980s. Thanks to the Dutch policy those groups are also the ones providing coffeeshops with their stash. Some coffeeshops do keep control over the whole process, becoming important suppliers and blending into the creme of international criminality.

The region in the south of the country, North-Brabant, also plays an important part in this story. Most of the weed production is situated in this agricultural region. Farmers are forced to lease their barns to criminal organizations, family houses are used as warehouses; the whole area became, and still is, an industrial pole for the cannabis industry. In total illegality.

Ivo Opstelten (VVD) former mayor of Rotterdam and Minister of Security and Justice

Please Mr. Opstelten, Lead The Dance

In 2010 the government was composed of the VVD and the CDA, but because they had a minority, they were backed by Geert Wilders’ PVV of (populist, far right). Beside the post of minister-president, the VVD also had important ministries, most fondly the Ministry of Security and Justice.

The Ministry of Security and Justice is not only one of the most important government organs, it is also the place where most of the political decisions on drugs take place. Under its VVD minister Ivo Opstelten, repression had to once again become the main vision on drugs policy.

Opstelten and the VVD tried to introduce the infamous “weed pass,” which was intended as a first step to preventing tourists from buying weed in coffeeshops. The municipalities and coffeeshops refused to introduce the pass, arguing that it would ultimately disturb public order. Together with the courts, the parliament backed the municipalities and asked Opstelten for better guarantees than his own political opinion before voting on anything else related to drugs policy. Independent research institutes had to produce reports on the subject.

Conveniently, the conclusion of those reports confirmed the vision of the minister: further liberalization of the Dutch drug policy would be detrimental to social safety and health. A repressive system was the only solution.

Under newly mandated Opstelten, coffeeshops were closing quicker than they were being built. First in Maastricht and Rozendaal in the south, then everywhere else even in Amsterdam, where the number of coffeeshops went down to less than 200 after 2015.

Falling And Rising In The Drug-Political Realm

Fortunately (or not), things can go wrong in political schemes. A few words will be written about it in the next issue of Pandemic, but still, ask Theresa May.

Opstelten, this warrior of law and order (as he used to present himself) was beaten at his own game, and ultimately forced to step down in 2015. Turns out he was covering up a money laundering deal between the state prosecution and a drug dealer dating back to the mid-90s. In the years that followed, some information leaked about the famous drug policy reports that the minister presented to the parliament. Although every parliamentary report is meant to be independent of any political influence, the minister gifted himself the privilege of deciding on the cannabis reports’ conclusions and hence could influence the whole policy.

In the meantime, the international situation changed too starting in 2012 when two US states legalized weed for recreational use.  Uruguay was the first country to legalize weed for recreational use, while countries like Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, and Germany liberalized their drug policy, pushing even further what the Netherlands had started. As of 2018, Canada has also joined the list.

In North America, cannabis-entrepreneurs are incentivized to commercialize the whole chain; from production to sales. There are also limitations, mostly due to the ambiguity of the federal US policy, which is officially against any kind of weed legalization. But still, in just a matter of 4-5 years, both Canada and the US are far ahead of the Netherlands when it comes to cannabusiness.

Rushing Solves Nothing

We may say that the Dutch take their time. For the impatient ones among us, it would be better to consider the political game in The Hague as one of compromise and, thus, patience. D66, which participated in many coalition governments within which, even with opposition stacked against them, they had some influence in the lawmaking process.

In 2017 one of their parliamentarians, Vera Bergkamp, introduced a legal proposition for an “experiment” with the municipalities, to see how production could be regulated. At the same moment, D66 was participating in the formation of the actual government, which meant that they had the possibility of “winning” on some subjects, and, of course, of losing on others. Bergkamp’s proposition, having been approved by the parliament, left open the question of how the government would implement this.

From the beginning of 2019, some chosen municipalities will let coffeeshops experiment with production. Everything will be organized and monitored from The Hague, but nobody knows what the results will be.

The first problems are already being discussed. For example, how can coffeeshops continue to sell if they have to change from illegal to legal suppliers overnight? And what of the criminals, who is going to take care of them? Who is going to control everything, the state, the municipalities, or independents organizations? Those questions need to be answered adequately. Otherwise, future governments may turn the machine of impractical pragmatism back on again.

Change Grows Slowly

Changes that aren’t wanted, but needed, might have to go slowly, sometimes almost invisibly. Whether it comes to pragmatic or idealistic choice, the Dutch cannabis policy demonstrates how institutions tend to handle issues only when confronted.

First denial and then reaction – mostly quite late. Maybe this is caused by the suddenness of change, a sensation that surprises the lawmaker.

As far as coffeeshops are concerned, time will tell how complex this cultural, social, economic and political transformation really is, and how society will react to the next emergent political reality. For now, let’s enjoy a chalice of delicious hashish on this late winter day.