NOMINATION FOR THE 2021 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
THE GRAND BOUQUET CANNABIQUE OF HUMAN AND CITIZENS RIGHTS DEFENDERS
Béatrice Budin (1961) France, antiprohibitionist activist and fighter for the defense of the rights of women, men and transgender people, worker in risk reduction on drug use in party environment.
Start. I started using cannabis at a very young age, I was 14-15 years old, and without knowing it this plant saved my life. In fact, following a trauma that occurred when I was 9 years old after the death of my mother, I developed severe anorexia. My encounter with weed came concomitantly and got me out of it. I had a pretty brilliant education during my younger years, then college with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a bachelor’s degree in history. I didn’t really have a taste for studies but surely wanted to teach.
Experience. During my studies I got lost in heavy heroin use, it was everywhere but unlike other users I always continued to smoke. I was infected with AIDS in 1992. After a few trips back and forth through the prison system, I had cerebral toxoplasmosis in 1995. An opportunistic disease and shock treatment helped me understand how cannabis helped me cope. For the record, my doctor surprised me on the stairways smoking and saying « now I understand why your food dishes are always empty » and that’s when I started to plead the virtues of cannabis with my doctors. It was at this time that I started auto-cultivation after a trip to Amsterdam, from where we brought the necessary equipment to Nice. I moved to Paris in 1999 and that’s where I met the French antiprohibitionist actors.
In Paris, within the Collective for Information and Research on Cannabis (CIRC), I attended an in-depth reflection on the place of cannabis in society, with the absolute right to auto-culture-for the user and his freedom to use it as he sees fit, as a starting point. With friends, I organized the Alternatives Concrètes event, with several workshops promoting ecological values, including a workshop / debate on the legalization of cannabis, that I hosted. Within the Techno Plus association we transmit objective information on the use of drugs in a party environment. With Cannabis Sans Frontières I participate each year in the Global Marijuana March organized in France in Paris in 2001 and I tried to bring this event to the provinces, at first in Chartres in 2015, then in Poitiers in 2016 and in 2017 and 2018 in Nantes.
Always in the context of actions targeting the full spectrum of this plant, with some 500 compounds and a multitude of beneficial effects for humans and their environment, therapeutic cannabis has become my battle horse.
Motivation. I am HIV positive and only cannabis can relieve my pain, it is cannabis that keeps me upright and keeps me going. But it’s illegal and I risk fines and more. I am guilty of being ill. But there are thousands of patients who, like me, await recognition of the therapeutic qualities of cannabis. Now that the United Nations and the United States have recognized the medicinal virtues of this plant at the highest level, it is high time that France keeps its commitments and organizes the experiments promised in 2019 but postponed so many times. Each postponement is an insult to the sick, even a denial of their existence. Our politicians think, and re-think while the sick suffer! I’ve been fighting for thirty years; I won’t let go now.
In France, cannabis users are increasingly hunted down and controlled. As a consumer I no longer leave home calmly, I am afraid of the police who are supposed to protect me. And I do not forget either that in some countries the situation is even more dramatic, the use of narcotics can even lead to death sentences. Because this plant has so much to bring us socially and economically, because nature must not be illegal, I plead for a paradigm shift in drug policy: Peace to drugs. I advocate for the freedom to use cannabis and research into drugs. I plead for full legalization of cannabis. Stop stigmatization, stop legal proceedings. Let us be united for a responsible drug policy with respect for the individual and the freedoms due to everyone.