JOEP OOMEN | The latest news from Spain is alarming. The movement of Cannabis Social Clubs that were initially formed in order to obtain the freedom to grow, seems to merge into a situation where some have the freedom to sell, while the act of growing cannabis for personal consumption can still be prosecuted.
The main purpose of the people who formed the clubs was to show public opinion and authorities that it is possible to create an alternative to the illegal market. That alternative should respond to the concerns for public health and safety as well as the rights and needs of cannabis consumers and producers.
Thanks to the relative margin of freedom that was created by the acquittal of the first Cannabis Social Clubs, other people have joined the movement with different intentions than those who started it. These people 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 (biological) 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 people, not of entrepreneurs.
The original non-profit and transparent character of the Cannabis Social Clubs is crucial to the success of the effort to convince media, public opinion as well as authorities of the rightness of this concept. It tries to apply the essential lesson of 100 years of global drug prohibition: the control of potentially harmful substances should be based on the protection of people, not of profits.
Why is it so difficult to stick to the original fight for the freedom to farm? Has capitalism entered our society’s DNA in such a degree that even a movement of cannabis activists can fall apart due to the lure of economic gain? Is the conclusion really unavoidable that also cannabis consumers act first of all like consumers, without the capacity to organise themselves? Are we too used to obey to a regime that is either designed to serve the interests of the state or of private companies?
Cannabis has been with us for a much longer time than capitalism. The consumption of cannabis has been crucial to understand that any order that is not in agreement with the balance of nature, in which all criatures are important and valuable, is doomed to fail. In other words: any order that is not cosmical, is a disorder.