Profile cover photo
Profile photo
ENCOD Steering Committee
37 followers -
FREEDOM TO FARM
FREEDOM TO FARM

37 followers
About
Posts

Post has shared content
Panel debate on Cannabis Social Clubs | Cannabis University | Cannabis Liberation Day 2017

A video of the Cannabis Social Clubs panel debate inside the Cannabis University at Cannabis Liberation Day 2017 with Rosaria Ricci, Martin Barriuso, Greg de Hoedt and Els Vermeesch.

Rosaria Ricci

Founder and chairwoman of the first Dutch Cannabis Social Club, Tree of Life in Amsterdam, since 2014. The club tries to obtain an exemption from the Opium Law for cultivation at a central location, linked to scientific research.

Martin Barriuso (Spain)

President of Basque Cannabis Social Club Pannagh in Bilbao and one of the most respected leaders of the CSC movement. In 2015, several board members of Pannagh, including Martin, were sentenced to eight months suspended prison sentence and a fine of €250,000. Their appeal is still pending.

Greg de Hoedt (United Kingdom)

Medicinal cannabis user and activist Greg de Hoedt is co-founder and chairman of UK Cannabis Social Clubs. He uses cannabis for Crohn's disease.

Els Vermeesch

President of Cannabis Social Club Trekt Uw Plant Vzw. Hundreds of patients relied on the first Cannabis Social Club of the country Trekt Uw Plant. But after winning in court twice before, they’ve had to endure being tailed, their homes bugged, phones tapped and being GPS-traced for more than one year. This lead to a raid with excessive force by the Belgium Police, raiding 18 homes and making 3 arrests.

Two members, including Els, were finally released after 2 weeks imprisonment. The third was released later.

Cannabis News Network is a news journal which publishes only cannabis related news.

Find out more: http://www.cannabisnewsnetwork.com/

#Pannagh #CannabisLiberationDay #Rosaria Ricci #MartinBarriuso #GregdeHoedt #ElsVermeesch #TrektUwPlant #CSC #CanabisSocialClubs
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Founder & president of Mambo Social Club and Spokesperson for Trekt Uw Plant vzw (Cannabis Social Club) Michel Degens, presenting at the European Parliament in 2nd May 2017.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment

Herewith Encod invites all its members to the Annual General Assembly, that will be held in the proximity of Barcelona (Argentona), Spain from 2nd to 4th of June 2017. Please register using the PDF forms on the website page: http://www.encod.org/info/General-Assembly-2017.html and send them to Encod office (office at encod.org ) by 27th of April 2017. The GA 2017 will take place in a rented house where we will all spend the weekend together, give and get updates, get to know each other and make plans for the future.

Peace on Drugs & Happy 4:20

https://www.facebook.com/events/818965744924895/
Add a comment...

Post has shared content
CSC-Gründer in Haft in Österreich

Kurz nach einer nicht rechtskräftigen Verurteilung fand die Polizei bei dem 58-Jährigen erneut Cannabispflanzen.

Knapp vier Wochen nach einer Verurteilung am Salzburger Landesgericht befindet sich der Obmann des Cannabis Social Club in Haft. Die Polizei fand in der Wohnung des 58-Jährigen 37 Cannabispflanzen, zudem Cannabiskraut und Öl. Der Mann war am 2. Februar 2017 wegen des Anbaus von 109 Cannabispflanzen nicht rechtskräftig zu zwei Monaten bedingter Haft verurteilt worden. Bereits vor Gericht kündigte er an, mit dem Anbau von Cannabis weitermachen zu wollen.
CSC-Gründer in Haft in Österreich

Kurz nach einer nicht rechtskräftigen Verurteilung fand die Polizei bei dem 58-Jährigen erneut Cannabispflanzen.

Knapp vier Wochen nach einer Verurteilung am Salzburger Landesgericht befindet sich der Obmann des Cannabis Social Club in Haft. Die Polizei fand in der Wohnung des 58-Jährigen 37 Cannabispflanzen, zudem Cannabiskraut und Öl. Der Mann war am 2. Februar 2017 wegen des Anbaus von 109 Cannabispflanzen nicht rechtskräftig zu zwei Monaten bedingter Haft verurteilt worden. Bereits vor Gericht kündigte er an, mit dem Anbau von Cannabis weitermachen zu wollen.

Am Montag führte die Polizei eine von der Staatsanwaltschaft angeordnete Hausdurchsuchung durch, sagt Staatsanwaltschaftssprecher Robert Holzleitner. "Der verdächtige 58-Jährige ließ sich trotz einer einschlägigen Verurteilung nicht vom Cannabisanbau abhalten." Ein Haftgrund bestehe wegen der Tatbegehungsgefahr, sagt Holzleitner. "Wir ermitteln gegen den Mann bereits seit Mai 2016, insgesamt geht es um den Anbau von 237 Cannabispflanzen." Die Staatsanwaltschaft will am Dienstag einen Antrag auf Untersuchungshaft stellen.

Salzburger leidet an chronischen Schmerzen

Der Vereinsobmann leidet seit einem Arbeitsunfall im Jahr 2004 an chronischen Schmerzen. Der ehemalige Lkw-Fahrer war erst am 1. Februar am Landesgericht Salzburg zu einer bedingten zweimonatigen Haftstrafe verurteilt worden. Er soll laut Gericht zumindest ab März 2012 Cannabis in unbekannter Menge gegen seine Schmerzen angebaut, konsumiert und in einigen wenigen Fällen auch an Leidensgenossen weitergegeben haben.

Schmerzpatient baute Cannabis an: Zwei Monate bedingte Haft

In Salzburg wurde am Mittwoch ein 57-jähriger Schmerzpatient verurteilt: Wilhelm Wallner hatte zumindest ab März 2012 Cannabis in beträchtlicher Menge gegen seine Schmerzen angebaut und konsumiert. Wallner zeigte sich über das Urteil empört und meldete Berufung an.
Wilhelm Wallner, ein ehemaliger Lkw-Fahrer, hatte sich Mitte der 2000er Jahre bei der Arbeit schwer am Fuß verletzt. Was zunächst wie eine Verstauchung aussah, entpuppte sich als schwerer Knorpel- und Bänderschaden. Es folgten drei Operationen und lange Krankenhausaufenthalte, dem Mann wurde ein Sprunggelenksimplantat eingesetzt. Schließlich wurde er in die Invaliditätspension geschickt.

Gegen die Schmerzen bekam er damals Morphium verschrieben, das er laut eigenen Angaben nicht vertrug. 2008 begann er deshalb mit Cannabis zu experimentieren. Und die Pflanze - als Sud für Tee, extrahiert als Öl zum Schmieren und manchmal auch geraucht - habe sofort positive Wirkung gezeigt. "Das Cannabis wirkte schmerz- und entzündungshemmend. Hätte ich das Morphium weiter genommen, wäre ich heute ein Pflegefall", sagte er am Mittwoch in Salzburg vor Gericht.
"Hätte ich weiter Morphium genommen, wäre ich nun ein Pflegefall"

2012 geriet er allerdings mit dem Suchtmittelgesetz in Konflikt. "Mir war klar, dass das verboten ist. Aber es hat mir einfach geholfen." Im September 2015 begann nach mehreren Anzeigen der Prozess gegen den Mann. "Ich bin zum Anbau von Cannabis gezwungen", sagte er damals. Das von der Krankenkasse bezahlte Ersatzmedikament Sativex habe nur bedingt geholfen. "Das hat eine Zeit lang gewirkt, dann aber nicht mehr." Der Prozess wurde in der Folge zur Einholung von Gutachten mehrfach vertagt.

Es gebe genügend Studien, welche die schmerzlindernde Wirkung von Cannabinoiden belegen, sagte am Mittwoch der Gutachter Christian Lampl, ehemaliger Präsident der Österreichischen Schmerzgesellschaft, vor Gericht. Zudem habe der Angeklagte schlüssige Angaben gemacht. "Einen großen Spielraum innerhalb der schulmedizinischen Schmerzbehandlung hätte es bei ihm kaum mehr gegeben." Auch die beschränkte Wirkung von Sativex beim Angeklagten hielt Lampl für denkbar. "Eine Gewöhnung der Rezeptoren und eine Dosis-Steigerung ist möglich."
Angeklagter zum Richter: "Zeigen Sie ein Herz!"

Der Richter hatte im Verfahren zwar Verständnis für die Situation des 58-Jährigen geäußert, aber keinen "entschuldigenden Notstand" erkannt. Dazu hätte der Angeklagte zuvor alles gegen seine Schmerzen ausprobieren müssen, was legal möglich gewesen wäre. Ein sogenannte multimodale Therapie - eine Kombination aus mehreren Medikamenten, aber auch mit Psychotherapie oder Hypnose - hatte der 58-Jährige allerdings abgelehnt, weil ihm Cannabis klar am besten helfe. Der Salzburger hatte nach dem Prozess gegen das Urteil Berufung eingelegt.

Darum habe er ja auch gleich mehrere Sorten angebaut, sagte der Angeklagte. "Ich sitze zwischen zwei Sesseln. Die Ärzte sagen das eine, die Justiz das andere." Und der 57-Jährige machte am Mittwoch aus seinen Unmut keinen Hehl. "Das ist ärger als eine Hexenjagd im Mittelalter. Ich habe nie etwas Schlechtes gemacht und auch nie Suchtgift am Schwarzmarkt angeboten." In Deutschland dürfe man Cannabis für medizinische Zwecke legal daheim anbauen. "Das wird auch bei uns kommen." Zugleich forderte er von der Justiz das bei ihm konfiszierte Suchtgift und die Utensilien für den Anbau zurück. "Es wäre schade, wenn Sie es verbrennen. Zeigen Sie ein Herz", meinte er zum Richter.

Der äußerte zwar Verständnis für die Situation des 57-Jährigen, sprach den Mann aber im Sinne der Anklage schuldig. Denn der Anbau und der Konsum von THC-hältigem Cannabis sei in Österreich nun einmal strafbar. Einen "entschuldigenden Notstand" erkannte der Richter nicht. "Dazu muss man zuvor alles tun, was legal möglich ist. Es hätte die Möglichkeit einer Mischtherapie gegeben, die Sie aber ablehnen", sagte er zum Angeklagten. Sprich: Der ehemalige Lkw-Fahrer hätte zuvor eine sogenannte multimodale Therapie - eine Kombination aus mehreren Medikamenten, aber auch mit Psychotherapie oder Hypnose - ausprobieren müssen.

Eine solche hatte der Angeklagte, der am Mittwoch ohne Verteidigung erschien - "Das kann ich mir nicht mehr leisten" -, allerdings stets vehement abgelehnt. "Ich mache mir doch meinen Körper nicht kaputt", meinte er und kündigte Berufung gegen das Urteil an.

P.S. 2. März: unbestätigte Information eines Freundes: Willi wurde mit Morphium behandelt, kollabierte und ist im Krankenhaus

#Salzburg #CSC #Cannabis #Morphium #medizinische #Sativex #Cannabispflanzen #Cannabisanbau #Schmerzpatient #Cannabinoiden

Quelle: http://www.salzburg.com/nachrichten/salzburg/chronik/sn/artikel/37-pflanzen-entdeckt-cannabis-club-gruender-in-haft-236394/

Add a comment...

Post has shared content
Are Italy and the American DEA out to ban effective heroin detox?
by
Dana Beal
Are Italy and the American DEA out to ban effective heroin detox?
by
Dana Beal

Medical Cannabis exponents all over the world have long suspected that narcotics police are more interested in preserving their monopoly over pain control than allowing patients to choose their own medicine.

Drug reformers in the United States are up on arms because the DEA just scheduled Kratom, apparently because too many people were taking it at home to wean themselves off heroin. I say that because although kratom far less addictive than opioids, and a lot of people found the active ingredient, mitragynine, just as effective as opiates for chronic pain, DEA minions in Italy almost simultaneously issued an order banning both mitragynine and ibogaine. (The U.S. banned ibogaine in 1967, but it remains legal in most countries.)

This is an important clue to the real motive here. Ibogaine is not habit-forming, and has zero abuse potential because of side-effects including movement-induced car-sickness during the acute phase, ibogaine is used all over the world as the premiere detoxificant for opiates, cocaine, methamphetamine and alcohol. It does this by eliminating withdrawals, inserting a long-acting serotonergic metabolite to combat depression, and expressing the nerve growth factor GDNF which not only re-sprouts dopamine receptors but back-signals to cell nuclei telling them to keep making GDNF even after ibogaine has left the body.

For more than 30 years addicts have been taking "flood doses" of a gram or more in order to get the cognitive benefits of the near-REM dream state during the first, most intense phase of the ibogaine experience. But in a very small number of cases flood-dosing has lead to bradycardia arrest (dangerous slowing of heart) , a transient syndrome that can be managed with adrenalin and bottled oxygen. That is why ibogaine must be given under medical supervision--a consideration that makes outright prohibition extremely problematic, since no doctor will participate in administering an illegal drug.

Recently extremely low doses of ibogaine between 8 and 16 mgs a day--far too little to produce any psychedelic effect--have been found to reverse neuro-degeneration of Parkinson's disease. And just last month a low-dose protocol was successfully used to detox some one from methadone. So it is not necessary to flood-dose, even though it may be preferable in many cases.

The goal of the prohibitionists is clearly to foster the exclusive use of approved maintenance drugs like methadone and especially suboxone. This latest NIDA preparation, containing mainly buprenorphin with just enough naloxone to make it impossible to inject, is designed to keep addicts hooked for life on something that gives them absolutely no opioid reward. Docile droids for the Prison-industrial complex!

According to our correspondent, Enrico Fletcher, in the decree Ms. Lorenzin, Italian Health mInister quotes in some cases the adverse conditions or the fact the substances are not been studied. As to Kratom, she cited just one case of possible intoxication. With iboga, only that military police in Bolzano (S. Tirol) interrupted a Santo Daime ceremony where they found iboga root-bark. (Religious use was also cited by Nicolas Sarkozy as Interior Minister in banning the Bwiti religion in France in 2007).

Banning religious use, though reprehensible, should not be a pretext to move against the clinical use of Ibogaine. Ibogaine is among the most-studied drugs in the world, with results available for heroin (MAPS) and cocaine/alcohol (Brazil) although no large clinical trials have been completed due to resistance of partisans of agonist therapies such as NIDA and Alex Wodak of IHRA. We call upon anti-prohibitionist such as the Italian Radicals to take a few minutes from the fight for cannabis to combat this stealthy fascism by completely ventilating the matter in Italian Parliament.


#kratom #Ibogaine #DEA #IHRA #heroin #iboga #DanaBeal

Post has shared content
Are Italy and the American DEA out to ban effective heroin detox?
by
Dana Beal
Are Italy and the American DEA out to ban effective heroin detox?
by
Dana Beal

Medical Cannabis exponents all over the world have long suspected that narcotics police are more interested in preserving their monopoly over pain control than allowing patients to choose their own medicine.

Drug reformers in the United States are up on arms because the DEA just scheduled Kratom, apparently because too many people were taking it at home to wean themselves off heroin. I say that because although kratom far less addictive than opioids, and a lot of people found the active ingredient, mitragynine, just as effective as opiates for chronic pain, DEA minions in Italy almost simultaneously issued an order banning both mitragynine and ibogaine. (The U.S. banned ibogaine in 1967, but it remains legal in most countries.)

This is an important clue to the real motive here. Ibogaine is not habit-forming, and has zero abuse potential because of side-effects including movement-induced car-sickness during the acute phase, ibogaine is used all over the world as the premiere detoxificant for opiates, cocaine, methamphetamine and alcohol. It does this by eliminating withdrawals, inserting a long-acting serotonergic metabolite to combat depression, and expressing the nerve growth factor GDNF which not only re-sprouts dopamine receptors but back-signals to cell nuclei telling them to keep making GDNF even after ibogaine has left the body.

For more than 30 years addicts have been taking "flood doses" of a gram or more in order to get the cognitive benefits of the near-REM dream state during the first, most intense phase of the ibogaine experience. But in a very small number of cases flood-dosing has lead to bradycardia arrest (dangerous slowing of heart) , a transient syndrome that can be managed with adrenalin and bottled oxygen. That is why ibogaine must be given under medical supervision--a consideration that makes outright prohibition extremely problematic, since no doctor will participate in administering an illegal drug.

Recently extremely low doses of ibogaine between 8 and 16 mgs a day--far too little to produce any psychedelic effect--have been found to reverse neuro-degeneration of Parkinson's disease. And just last month a low-dose protocol was successfully used to detox some one from methadone. So it is not necessary to flood-dose, even though it may be preferable in many cases.

The goal of the prohibitionists is clearly to foster the exclusive use of approved maintenance drugs like methadone and especially suboxone. This latest NIDA preparation, containing mainly buprenorphin with just enough naloxone to make it impossible to inject, is designed to keep addicts hooked for life on something that gives them absolutely no opioid reward. Docile droids for the Prison-industrial complex!

According to our correspondent, Enrico Fletcher, in the decree Ms. Lorenzin, Italian Health mInister quotes in some cases the adverse conditions or the fact the substances are not been studied. As to Kratom, she cited just one case of possible intoxication. With iboga, only that military police in Bolzano (S. Tirol) interrupted a Santo Daime ceremony where they found iboga root-bark. (Religious use was also cited by Nicolas Sarkozy as Interior Minister in banning the Bwiti religion in France in 2007).

Banning religious use, though reprehensible, should not be a pretext to move against the clinical use of Ibogaine. Ibogaine is among the most-studied drugs in the world, with results available for heroin (MAPS) and cocaine/alcohol (Brazil) although no large clinical trials have been completed due to resistance of partisans of agonist therapies such as NIDA and Alex Wodak of IHRA. We call upon anti-prohibitionist such as the Italian Radicals to take a few minutes from the fight for cannabis to combat this stealthy fascism by completely ventilating the matter in Italian Parliament.


#kratom #Ibogaine #DEA #IHRA #heroin #iboga #DanaBeal

Post has attachment
Are Italy and the American DEA out to ban effective heroin detox?
by
Dana Beal

Medical Cannabis exponents all over the world have long suspected that narcotics police are more interested in preserving their monopoly over pain control than allowing patients to choose their own medicine.

Drug reformers in the United States are up on arms because the DEA just scheduled Kratom, apparently because too many people were taking it at home to wean themselves off heroin. I say that because although kratom far less addictive than opioids, and a lot of people found the active ingredient, mitragynine, just as effective as opiates for chronic pain, DEA minions in Italy almost simultaneously issued an order banning both mitragynine and ibogaine. (The U.S. banned ibogaine in 1967, but it remains legal in most countries.)

This is an important clue to the real motive here. Ibogaine is not habit-forming, and has zero abuse potential because of side-effects including movement-induced car-sickness during the acute phase, ibogaine is used all over the world as the premiere detoxificant for opiates, cocaine, methamphetamine and alcohol. It does this by eliminating withdrawals, inserting a long-acting serotonergic metabolite to combat depression, and expressing the nerve growth factor GDNF which not only re-sprouts dopamine receptors but back-signals to cell nuclei telling them to keep making GDNF even after ibogaine has left the body.

For more than 30 years addicts have been taking "flood doses" of a gram or more in order to get the cognitive benefits of the near-REM dream state during the first, most intense phase of the ibogaine experience. But in a very small number of cases flood-dosing has lead to bradycardia arrest (dangerous slowing of heart) , a transient syndrome that can be managed with adrenalin and bottled oxygen. That is why ibogaine must be given under medical supervision--a consideration that makes outright prohibition extremely problematic, since no doctor will participate in administering an illegal drug.

Recently extremely low doses of ibogaine between 8 and 16 mgs a day--far too little to produce any psychedelic effect--have been found to reverse neuro-degeneration of Parkinson's disease. And just last month a low-dose protocol was successfully used to detox some one from methadone. So it is not necessary to flood-dose, even though it may be preferable in many cases.

The goal of the prohibitionists is clearly to foster the exclusive use of approved maintenance drugs like methadone and especially suboxone. This latest NIDA preparation, containing mainly buprenorphin with just enough naloxone to make it impossible to inject, is designed to keep addicts hooked for life on something that gives them absolutely no opioid reward. Docile droids for the Prison-industrial complex!

According to our correspondent, Enrico Fletcher, in the decree Ms. Lorenzin, Italian Health mInister quotes in some cases the adverse conditions or the fact the substances are not been studied. As to Kratom, she cited just one case of possible intoxication. With iboga, only that military police in Bolzano (S. Tirol) interrupted a Santo Daime ceremony where they found iboga root-bark. (Religious use was also cited by Nicolas Sarkozy as Interior Minister in banning the Bwiti religion in France in 2007).

Banning religious use, though reprehensible, should not be a pretext to move against the clinical use of Ibogaine. Ibogaine is among the most-studied drugs in the world, with results available for heroin (MAPS) and cocaine/alcohol (Brazil) although no large clinical trials have been completed due to resistance of partisans of agonist therapies such as NIDA and Alex Wodak of IHRA. We call upon anti-prohibitionist such as the Italian Radicals to take a few minutes from the fight for cannabis to combat this stealthy fascism by completely ventilating the matter in Italian Parliament.


#kratom #Ibogaine #DEA #IHRA #heroin #iboga #DanaBeal
Add a comment...

Post has shared content
Cannabis social clubs in Spain: legalisation without commercialisation

Cannabis social clubs (CSCs) are private, non-profit organisations in which cannabis is collectively grown and distributed to registered members. With no profit motive to increase cannabis consumption or initiate new users, the clubs offer a more cautious, public health-centred alternative to large-scale retail cannabis markets dominated by commercial enterprises. The growth of the CSC model in Spain demonstrates that cannabis legalisation does not have to mean commercialisation. As CSCs show, it is entirely possible to restrict the availability and promotion of cannabis while at the same time making the drug legally available to adult users.

Additionally, the UN drug conventions have been interpreted as permitting CSCs, on the basis that they are an extension of decriminalisation policies. Because of this, the CSC model avoids many of the political and diplomatic obstacles associated with more far-reaching systems of legal regulation.

Background

Spain has long pursued a relatively tolerant approach to drugs, particularly cannabis. Following a series of rulings by the country’s Supreme Court beginning in the 1970s, the personal possession of small amounts of any illicit drug is not considered a criminal offence. With regard to cannabis, this decriminalisation policy has extended to production too, with Spanish law typically being interpreted in a way that permits private cultivation of the drug for personal use. Activists used both this provision, and the fact that ‘shared consumption’ of cannabis has generally been tolerated by law, to develop the CSC model, through which cannabis is grown collectively and distributed to members for their own use.1 2

The first CSC was founded in 2001, and legal experts have identified several criteria that the clubs must meet in order to comply with precedents set in case law.


Cannabis social club rules3 4 5

CSCs must register in a regional registry of associations, with founding members subject to background checks. Associations are defined as ‘a group of people who enter into an agreement, in order to accomplish a common objective with a non-profit motive, independent (at least formally) from government, public administration, political parties and companies’6
CSCs must seek to reduce the harms associated with the supply and use of cannabis – by, for example, promoting responsible consumption
CSCs and their premises must be closed to the public, with membership granted only upon invitation by an existing member who can vouch that the person seeking to join is already a cannabis user. Alternatively, prospective members can join if they have a doctor’s note confirming that they suffer from an illness which could be treated with cannabis
Limits on the quantity of cannabis consumed must be enforced. Daily personal allowances of, on average, three grams per person are set in order to reduce the likelihood of cannabis being diverted for sale on the illicit market. Additionally, the quantity of cannabis to be cultivated is calculated based on the number of expected members and predicted levels of consumption
Cannabis distributed by the clubs must be for more or less immediate consumption. Small quantities are often allowed to be taken away for off-site use, but the general aim is to promote planned, non-impulsive usage and to minimise the risk of a member’s supply being re-sold on the illicit market or diverted to a non-member
Clubs must be run on a non-profit basis. Members pay fees to cover production and management costs, but all revenue generated is reinvested back into their operations. In addition, clubs pay rent, tax, employees’ social security fees, corporate income tax, and in some cases VAT (at 21%)
Although they must operate in line with these criteria, the clubs are effectively self-regulating. They follow either their own voluntary codes of practice or, more often, those established by regional federations of clubs. A Europe-wide code of practice has also been created by the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies.7

The spread of the cannabis social club model

The total number of CSCs in Spain is difficult to estimate precisely, as many clubs do not remain in operation for very long.8 However, there are thought to be roughly 400 CSCs or similar associations in Spain,9 most of which are located in Catalonia and the Basque Country. Beyond Spain, several other jurisdictions now also permit (or at least tolerate) such clubs. Uruguay has made CSCs a key component of its national, legally regulated cannabis market,10 and informal CSCs have been accommodated within domestic drug laws in Argentina, Colombia and Chile. Belgium also has five CSCs,11 while the local government of Utrecht, in the Netherlands, is attempting to establish a club as a means of solving the so-called ‘back-door problem’ of illegal, unregulated supply to the city’s cannabis coffee shops.12 13 The Swiss canton of Geneva has also established a commission to explore the possibility of setting up cannabis user associations similar to Spain’s CSCs.14

The benefits of a non-commercial approach

In a commercial market, the primary goal of cannabis producers and suppliers will usually be to generate the highest possible profits. This is most readily achieved by maximising consumption, both in total population and per capita terms, and by encouraging the initiation of new users. Public health problems will only become a concern when they threaten to affect sales. It is therefore crucial to design a regulatory system that removes or at least minimises profit-motivated efforts to increase or initiate use. The CSC model – as well as other alternatives such as state-run outlets and home cultivation – meets this aim. In particular, the relatively closed membership system and culture of immediate use of CSCs helps to limit availability and reduce the potential for new (and typically young) users to be initiated into cannabis use.

CSCs have the further advantage of, thus far at least, not attracting criticism from either of the primary drug control bodies, the INCB or the UNODC. As they are treated as an extension of cannabis decriminalisation policies, CSCs offer a simpler (and more cautious) alternative to comprehensive retail cannabis markets that would breach treaty commitments or require treaty reform. CSCs could be a transitional model that helps to establish healthy social norms around cannabis consumption, in advance of more far-reaching legalisation measures in the future. Equally, CSCs could be the sole legal form of cannabis supply, or operate in parallel with regulated retail cannabis markets once they have been established. This last approach is being employed in Uruguay.

The tension between regulation and commercialisation

Although profit-making by CSCs is a crime, the proliferation of clubs in Spain has led to concerns that some will turn away from the non-commercial ethos on which they were founded. Some clubs, particularly those in Barcelona, have grown to such an extent that they now have thousands of members, mostly as a result of the clubs adopting less stringent membership policies and admitting tourists.15

Formal regulation of CSCs would safeguard against the possibility of over-commercialisation, and many clubs have long been calling for greater oversight of their operations. This aspiration is now becoming a reality in some parts of Spain: in 2014, both the parliament of the Navarre region16 and the city of San Sebastián in the Basque Country17 voted to formally license and regulate CSCs, building on the voluntary codes of conduct that the clubs have been following up until now. While many CSCs throughout Spain are still subject to raids and investigations by the police, regional initiatives such as these should provide a more solid legal basis for the clubs’ operations.


Getting the balance right

There is, however, a need to get the balance right: if a club system is too restrictive, then consumers will simply turn to the illegal trade, meaning one of the main aims of legalisation – to reduce the size of the criminal market – will not be met. It may therefore be necessary to relax the criteria for club membership; accepting adults who are not existing cannabis users would be an obvious starting point. But there is no perfect solution. It is a matter of balancing priorities, seeing what works, and making responsible, informed choices based on an ongoing evaluation of the costs and benefits. In other words, it requires a rational, pragmatic approach – something that has not been a feature of drug policy-making under prohibition.

References
1 Kilmer, B., Kruithof, K., Pardal, M., Caulkins, J. P., and Rubin, J. (2013) ‘Multinational overview of cannabis production regimes’, RAND Corporation, p. 8-15. http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR500/RR510/RAND_RR510.pdf

2 Barriuso Alonso, M. (2011) ‘Cannabis social clubs in Spain: A normalizing alternative underway’, Transnational Institute. http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/dlr9.pdf

3 Ibid.

4 dinafem.org (2014) ‘How to create your own cannabis social club and not die trying’, 19/03/14. https://www.dinafem.org/en/blog/cannabis-social-club/

5 Kilmer et al. (2013) op. cit.

6 Velasco, M. T. (date unknown) ‘Non-profit Associations in Spain’, Velasco Lawyers. http://www.velascolawyers.com/en/civil-law/175-Non-profit-Associations-in-Spain.html

7 European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies (2011) ‘European of Code Of Conduct For European Cannabis Social Clubs’. http://www.encod.org/info/CODE-OF-CONDUCT-FOR-EUROPEAN.html

8 Arana, X (2005) ‘Cannabis: Normalización y Legislación. Eguzkilore’, Cuaderno del Instituto Vasco de Criminología San Sebastian, 19, pp. 121-138.

9 FAC (2010) ‘Como crear un Club Social de Cannabis’. www.arcuma.com/tutoriales/Como_Crear_un_Club_Social_de_Cannabis.pdf

10 BBC News (2014) ‘Uruguay cannabis growers’ clubs: Registration begins’, 01/11/14. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-29859822

11 Decorte, T. (2014) ‘Cannabis social clubs in Belgium: Organizational strengths and weaknesses, and threats to the model’, International Journal of Drug Policy (in press). http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395914002096

12 Rolles, S. and Murkin, G. (2013) ‘How to Regulate Cannabis: A Practical Guide’, Transform Drug Policy Foundation. http://www.tdpf.org.uk/resources/publications/how-regulate-cannabis-practical-guide

13 Bennett-Smith, M. (2013) ‘First cannabis cultivation club reportedly forms in Dutch city of Utrecht’, The Huffington Post, 12/09/13. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/11/cannabis-cultivation-club-utrecht_n_3909025.html

14 Curtis, M. (2014) ‘Swiss want to reopen pot legalization debate’, The Local, 03/02/14. http://www.thelocal.ch/20140203/swiss-committee-reopens-pot-legalization-debate

15 Daley, S. (2014) ‘Marijuana Clubs Rise Out of Decades-Old Spanish Laws’, The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/11/world/europe/marijuana-clubs-rise-out-of-decades-old-spanish-laws.html

16 dinafem.org (2014) ‘Navarra Approves a Law Regulating Cannabis Clubs: “Now We Can Look to the Future with Greater Optimism”’, 04/12/14. https://www.dinafem.org/en/blog/navarra-approves-law-regulating-cannabis-clubs/

17 dinafem.org (2014) ‘San Sebastián Approves the Regulation of Cannabis Clubs, a ground-breaking ordinance in Spain’, 20/11/14. https://www.dinafem.org/en/blog/san-sebastian-approves-regulation-cannabis-clubs/

Submitted by: George Murkin
#Transform   #UNODC   #INCB   #druglaws  
#cannabis #CSC #CannabisSocialClubs #Spain #legalisation
Add a comment...

Post has shared content
Cannabis activists gathered in the Southern Italian town of Salerno, near Naples, earlier this month to form a new federation in favor of regulating cannabis in Italy. There are even hopeful signs the effort will find traction — Parliament is scheduled to have a debate on the subject on June 27.

The passing of a joint, besides still being illegal in Italy, can be especially dangerous in Naples. The local Mafia, the “system,” does not tolerate third parties selling or distributing cannabis outside its monopoly. It’s a fact often denounced by the powerful DIA, the District Anti-Mafia Direction, which last year proclaimed the utter failure of prohibition and urged the government to start regulating cannabis.

Local media also perpetuate the widespread urban legend of dealers mixing cannabis with battery acid or other poisonous substances. The result, the so-called Mafia-manipulated amnesia, is one of the many worn-out myths that send a cloudy message to lawmakers.

Some of the questions on the agenda in Salerno: Will the Neapolitan mayor, former Mafia prosecutor Luigi De Magistris, use his prerogative as the highest defendant of public health to introduce special rules on drug issues to curb the Mafia and protect public health in the next election turn? What kind of impact will the foundation of a cannabis federation with strongholds in Sicily and Naples have on the formation of collective, non-profit cannabis-grow coops, or so-called Cannabis Social Clubs, inspired by examples in Spain and Belgium?

Neapolitan Director Enrico Caria choose legalization as the subject of his 2011 mockumentary Legal Era, in which the character Mr. Amore (Mr. Love) runs for mayor of Naples and decides to legalize drugs. Although it’s a work of fiction, the film considers the cannabis regulation in the words of judges, politicians, and actors such as Isabella Rossellini. A very important general attorney declares that “If we don't close the tap of the drug traffic we will never end fighting money laundering and our democracies will end up like in Mexico,” another key character says.

In short, Legal Era testifies that when cannabis is legalized, the sky won’t fall like ash from Mt. Vesuvius.

Five years after the release of Legal Era, Massimiliano Derviso, the main organizer of the meeting in Salerno, is hopeful that real change is coming soon to Italy. “The project we started here could be an example for the whole of Europe,” he told Leafly. “It could improve the lifestyle and well-being of many people. There are so many really needy, sick people that I personally know, the victims of a disastrous and corrupt legal system who have had or are still having serious legal problems.

“Adult people would like to use cannabis responsibly but run a high risk of buying products of very low quality at inflated prices.”

The newly named FEDERC, the Federation for Regulation of Cannabis in Italy, promotes research, responsible growth and consumption, political organization, and the spread of information. FEDERC will join Encod, the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies. Encod representative Richard Rainford was a special guest at the meeting.

#FEDERC#CSC #CannabisSocialClub   #Salerno #Italy #CSCSalerno   #ENCOD   #Naples   #Mafia   #MassimilianoDerviso   #legalized   #Cannabis  
Add a comment...
Wait while more posts are being loaded