JOEP OOMEN | The war against cannabis can come to an end. The recent events in the USA and Uruguay show that little political courage is needed to desmantle a regime that was still considered untouchable few years ago. No revolution is needed, nor a massive rebellion. An intelligent campaign is enough to convince public opinion, together with the willingness of authorities to employ new methods, given that it is clear that the old ones are of no use.
There is no doubt it would be naive to think that those who defend cannabis prohibition should passively resign to the fact that this terrible social and political experiment has ended, after it has caused so many horrible consequences on a worldwide scale. As we are witnessing in other countries who have long held a relatively tolerant policy towards cannabis – such as Holland – the defenders of a repressive policy are joining forces in Spain as well. With a law that carries the euphemistic title “citizen security”, they are trying to switch back to the criminalization of self-farming, while they also leave unchanged the administrative sanctions that allow to punish for the possession of whichever quantity of cannabis, even if it’s for personal use.
At the same time, we need to realize that each war has its strategies and counter-strategies. There might very well already be a long running plan to implement a regulations model by which cannabis control would be controlled by a public or private monopoly (which is not the same, but it’s all the same). We cannot sleep well until the right of self-farming plants for personal use has been ensured. If this right should be guaranteed we would have no reason to fear a private or public control.
Whichever the way, we are in urgent need of legal changes. There might be opinion differences on the design of the future model and it is inevitable that there be conflicts among activists who are trying to build such model from scratch, so that many people can benefit from it. But what we can all learn from the social movements that have preceded us is that we need to choose our enemy very well.
Unity makes us stronger, separation makes us weaker. If we always try to solve conflicts through transparency, they will make us strongerbecause we will be able to tell apart those who want to serve the movement from those who want to take advantage of it.
It is time to join forces among cannabis activists in Spain, with the aim to guarantee that self-farming (and shared farming through associations) keeps being a cornerstone in any law concerning cannabis. It should actually be a mutual interest of all those who want a society which protects the rights of citizens and bans the opportunities for criminal organizations to be created and to flourish.
Welcome Assonabis! Long live!