THE ENCOD BULLETIN ON DRUG POLICIES IN EUROPE
The Cannabis Social Club’s (CSC’s) continue their fight in Spain and are increasingly better organised. In 2015 Supreme Court sentences left a bad taste in the mouths of these groups, but that has given them more determination to fight and now these sentences are being appealed in the Constitutional Court, the tribunal that exists for the defence of human rights in Spain.
The FAC (Cannabis Associations Federation (www.fac.cc), the platform that unites the many CSC’s in the country, held its General Assembly January with very good results. For some years this organization adopted the strategy of approaching the political struggle from a federal perspective, but has now adopted a strategy of acting at the regional level through the foundation of the FAC confederation.
In Catalonia the associations have obtained more than 54,807 signatures to present the popular legislative initiative to Parliament to regulate the cannabis associations. In the Balearic Islands the parliamentary presentation has been opened to regulate therapeutic cannabis. In the Basque Country and Navarra the new law on addictions does, in the end, not include regulation of the CSC, the part that was challenged by the Constitutional Court.
There are many technocrats, scientists and researchers who support and endorse these projects with their studies. As well as other independent groups, who also fight for this purpose, including associations, foundations, companies and the media. One of them is RCN-NOK who presented a popular legislative initiative on the Congress of Deputies.
In the therapeutic field an organization has been created called the Spanish Cannabis Medicinal Observatory, which brings together patients, doctors and researchers. The Observatory has presented a draft proposal at the congress that aims to regulate this aspect of cannabis and was also admitted to work on another draft proposal to regulate cannabis transversally.
Yet, the judicial and police repression is still present for users and activists. In a system that allows hypocritical and unrealistic drug regulation crops continue to be targeted and the people responsible for them continue to be prosecuted. Moreover, the users continue being fined for possession and consumption in public with a minimum amount of 600,00€.
Much remains to be done in Spain and in Europe for fair and effective drug policies. And there are a good meeting to share impressions in Barcelona on mid-March, when one of the most important cannabis fairs in Europe will be held, where you can also find Encod at the CatFAC / FAC stand on Friday morning.
by Ana Afuera – FAC, LA MACA