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Home page > English (en) > 04. Cannabis Social Club > EXAMPLES OF CSC’S IN EUROPE > CANNABIS SOCIAL CLUBS IN SPAIN: A NORMALIZING ALTERNATIVE UNDERWAY
Published on 27 January 2011  by encod

CANNABIS SOCIAL CLUBS IN SPAIN: A NORMALIZING ALTERNATIVE UNDERWAY

Source: Series on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies Nr. 9

By Martín Barriuso Alonso

January 2011



All the versions of this article: [English] [Español] [français]





Cannabis social clubs (CSC) are noncommercial organisations of users who get together to cultivate and distribute enough cannabis to meet their personal needs without having to turn to the black market. They are based on the fact that the consumption of illegal drugs has never been considered a crime under Spanish legislation. Taking advantage of this grey area, private clubs that produce cannabis for non-profit distribution solely to a closed group of adult members have existed for years.

Since their appearance in 2002, CSCs have enabled several thousand people to stop financing the black market and to know the quality and origin of what they are consuming, whilst creating jobs and tax revenue. All of this has happened without having to withdraw from existing UN drug treaties.

This article outlines the nature and functioning of these clubs. It also proposes a better route for legalisation of drugs: rejecting the creation of an open trade system, similar to that of alcohol or tobacco and opting instead for a consumer-focused, non-profit model that avoids many of the risks inherent in a market dominated by the pursuit of economic profit.

Conclusions & Recommendations

* The appearance of cannabis social clubs (CSC) in Spain in 2002 has enabled thousands of people to legally grow their own marijuana supply for personal consumption and ensure that it is good quality.

* Clubs began to appear throughout the country, due to a grey area in Spanish legislation, and through a legal registry system for groups of users those who collectively cultivate marijuana.

* The CSC boom occurred after various Supreme Court decisions that stated that cultivation for personal use is not a crime as it is not destined for trafficking. * It is time for the debate on drug policies to move on from a simplified discussion of legalisation or prohibition and instead considers alternative ways to deal with drugs.





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The European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies, is a pan-European network of currently 140 NGO’s and individual experts involved in the drug issue on a daily base. We are the European section of an International Coalition, which consists of more than 200 NGOs from around the world that have adhered to a Manifesto for Just and Effective Drug Policies (established in 1998). Among our members are organisations of cannabis and other drug users, of health workers, researchers, grassroot activists as well as companies.


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