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VICE: interview with Jens Waldman, sentenced to community service for growing cannabis. THE DAD TRYING TO LEGALISE MEDICAL WEED IN SWEDEN.
By Admins (from 10/10/2014 @ 07:03:00, in en - Science and Society, read 1043 times)

Jens Waldmann is a dad, husband, and tattoo-artist. He's also a recently convicted felon. You see, Waldmann suffers from anxiety, insomnia and depression, which he's had a hard time dealing with. After many failed attempts of treatments, and hours of late-night researching online, he eventually turned to growing and smoking his own weed at home.

However, Sweden (where Waldmann lives) is pretty strict when it comes to drug policies. So after two years of regularly "self medicating," the police came knocking on his door and Waldmann was arrested, charged, and convicted for drug offences. He's now forced to go back to anxiety pills. Waldmann – who's allegedly been treating himself to be able to take care of his family – is now afraid he'll fall back into depression. So with the help of a pretty big group of friends supporting his cause, he's now trying to raise awareness around the possibilities of using weed as medicine. I caught up with him to see how that's going.

VICE: I've heard that you've been afraid to be labelled by society as a junkie, and not by a court as a criminal. It seems as if you've managed to gain a lot of support from your local community.
Jens Waldmann: Yeah. I've got a lot of support from people because of this. I knew beforehand that these were issues in the community, and that people wanted someone who can speak up about it. I felt the same way when I sat at home, scared of the police. When the police came, I told my wife that it's time to do something.

Sixty people showed up at your trial. Are you starting a movement now?
Yes, we joined forces to reach out to the public. What we're doing is that we're trying to get the truth out about cannabis – both pros and cons. Not the propaganda politicians have been scattering around them for the last 40 years with their war on drugs.

The lawsuit against you is pretty political. You have a Facebook page and for some reason I get the connotations to a political campaign.
Absolutely! We're using my situation to draw attention to this issue, to bring out a discussion. Most who are put in District Court are ashamed, which I probably would have been, too, if I had been drinking and driving, or punched someone. But I'm not ashamed! I don't feel like I've done anything wrong at all. It's society who should be ashamed of itself. I haven't raped a child or hurt someone for my pleasure. I've grown a natural flower for medicine. I don't get it. I really don't get what the problem is to be honest. All I've done is a favour to society by taking myself out of hospital care.

The judge called for a prison sentence, but you got 75 hours of community service. Wouldn't It have been better with a prison sentence to get a more clear message out?
Of course. In that case my family and my business would have been destroyed. It would have given a more drastic picture of how flipped out all this is. If I did the same thing again, I would definitely get a prison sentence immediately. Maybe the next guy doing this will have a criminal record unlike me and end up in prison. The sad thing is that the guy probably won't be more evil than I am. We're people who just wants to feel good, and I don't get why we should be stepped on because of it.

Do you think your trial will have an impact on Sweden's conservative view on medical cannabis?
A lot of people will hopefully open their eyes. We already have meds containing stigmatic drugs, like amphetamine that we give to our kids with ADHD. We give out morphine pills to the left and the right. This is a much easier drug to make meds out of, and a lot less dangerous than the other stuff we give people.

Thanks, Jens.

Author: Rasmus Foltmar Elfton - Source: Vice

UPDATE FROM TURISMO ASSOCIATI:

Maria Larsson: We are a community in Sweden supporting him.
The group "Avkriminalisera Cannabis " (decriminalise cannabis) has 15000 members which support him in his struggles (
LINK here for the group, and LINK here for the Community). Also the organization "Cannalisörerna" is involved (LINK here).