18 February 2015
Statement by Encod
The term ‘Cannabis Social Club’ is currently being used by many groups throughout Europe. Herewith we would like to warn against the misuse of this term.
Cannabis Social Clubs ( CSC’s) were initially formed by activists in Spain in order to obtain the freedom to grow cannabis for personal use and share it with others in a non-commercial environment. CSC’s were meant to be transparent and democratic organisations that would be accountable to members and the authorities.
The main purpose of Cannabis Social Clubs is to show the general public and authorities that it is possible to create an alternative to the illegal market. That it is simple to create a system of cannabis production and distribution that takes into account the concerns for public health and safety as well as the rights and needs of cannabis consumers and producers.
After the first CSC’s had been acquitted in Spain (Pannagh, 2007) and Belgium (Trekt uw Plant, 2010), activists in various European countries started to apply this model to test and provoke a court-case, with varying degrees of success. Encod has played a leading role in promoting and explaining the concept.
Today, all across Europe, Cannabis Social Clubs continue to operate in a grey zone, as a national legal framework for the cultivation and distribution of cannabis is still absent. However, thanks to the relative margin of freedom that was created by the Cannabis Social Clubs in Spain and, to a lesser extent, Belgium, other people have joined the movement, with different intentions than those who started it. These people have taken the name Cannabis Social Club, but in-fact are mostly interested in the possibilities to distribute cannabis in a commercial way.
While in principle there may be nothing against the commercial production and distribution of cannabis, it is not what Cannabis Social Clubs are established for. The group of people who form a Cannabis Social Club want to obtain control of the production of healthy (organic) cannabis for an honest price that covers the efforts of growers and distributors. They want to make a statement to society that growing any natural plant for personal consumption should be an indisputable human right. Cannabis Social Clubs are meant as a tool of empowerment of the people, not entrepreneurs.
The original non-profit and transparent character of the Cannabis Social Clubs is crucial to the success of this effort when convincing media, public opinion as well as authorities of the rightfulness of this concept.
Therefore Encod is preparing an approved list of European Cannabis Social Clubs.
When you are a member of a club that is listed you can be sure of the following:
The club is legally registered as association, and therefore accountable to local and/or national authorities.
The club has declared to follow the Code of Conduct for European Cannabis Social Clubs, elaborated by Encod in December 2011. This Code of Conduct summarises the 5 basic principles of a CSC: supplies follows demand, non-profit, transparency, health oriented and open to dialogue with authorities.
Finally, the club has agreed to accept the mediation of Encod should a conflict arise with one of its members or with another CSC.
As a member of one of these clubs, you can therefore be sure that the administration of these clubs is committed to providing you with cannabis in a healthy, safe and honest way. And should a problem occur and you feel your voice is not being heard as it should be, you are invited to contact Encod.