By Steve Elliott
New Zealand's first cannabis museum is opening, featuring more than 100 books, articles, photographs and displays. The facility also includes space for community groups, recording facilities, and a movie projector.
Legalise Cannabis House in Dunedin, where the museum is located, is becoming the national headquarters of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and includes a broadcasting studio and computer equipment for running the organization's political campaigns.
"Cannabis is such a taboo subject, but New Zealand has the highest [cannabis consumption] rate in the Western world per percentage of population; we are like the most stoner country in the West," said Legalise Cannabis House Manager Abe Gray, reports Hamish McNeilly at the Otago Daily Times.
Gray stressed that no marijuana is on display, but users are encouraged to visit Dunedin's 4:20 protests which are featured in the museum.
"There will be no cannabis smoked or sold in the house," Gray said. "There will only be information."
The protests began on the campus of the University of Otago in mid-2004 when people began gathering under a walnut tree near the Union Building at 4:20 p.m. each Friday to support cannabis law reform.
"We had to have a museum because we had so much memorabilia about the 4:20s," Gray said.
The protests were a magnet for tourists, and the museum is likely to draw crowds, as well, according to Gray.