Below in italics is my transcript of the supreme court case that just concluded this month with 3 of the founding members of three monkeys cannabis club being locked up in prison for 8 months each. My summary underneath.
The Supreme Court has condemned the president, secretary and treasurer of the association Three Monkeys Spain to eight months imprisonment each for crimes against public health. The Criminal Chamber deems it in part the use of the prosecution and sets aside the judgment of the Provincial Court of Barcelona which acquitted them of conspiracy and crimes against public health.
The judgment overturned said that findings of fact are not criminal because in the premises of the Association is not indiscriminately sold marijuana and hashish, but only sold to members and, on the other hand, did not lead them profit.
The Criminal Division states that in the course analyzed “a small group of people organizes and directs the partnership structure. They have and prepare all the quartermaster, supply, distribution, control, crop and put such structures to serve a broad and indiscriminate group of users who are limited to obtaining the substance upon payment of the fee and the cost. ” That underlines the judgment is to facilitate the use of third parties and, in addition, there are dealers receivers against mere consumers.
According to the case resolved by the plenary jurisdictional ruling last July 8, reiterates that the activity of the clubs Cannabis social, associations or similar groups organized crime when not be be to provide information, prepare or disseminate studies, make proposals, in any way express opinions on the matter, promote meetings or gatherings or seminars on these issues.
The judgment states that If you transfer the criminal boundaries behavior materialized in organizing a system of cultivation, collection, or purchase marijuana or any other intoxicating drug or narcotic or psychotropic substance in order to distribute or deliver to third parties, although purchasers they are imposed by the requirement of having previously been incorporated in a list, a club or an association or similar group; Also when the economy is limited to cover costs.
In addition, the Second Chamber argued that it is not attributed to the association responsible for the misuse by some partners or breach of its commitments or the fact that a member has given a person not consuming part of the substance; It sells or betraying their associative obligations.
However, it states that “themselves are responsible for creating the source of those uncontrollable and real risks when these amounts of substance whose attitudes or motivations can not audited are distributed to 290 people are handled”. It notes that “it can not become an association of this nature in a kind of cooperative distribution of narcotic which is prohibited.”
The judgment of the Criminal Division includes a separate opinion of Judge Joaquin Jimenez supporter absolve those responsible of ‘Three Monkeys Spain’ because there was no malice in his behavior.
So, this is something I have covered throughout and tried to get a real low down on where the problems started and where they have finished and what it means for us cannabis folk.
I have shouted as loudly as anybody about being super tightly self regulated. Let’s not kid ourselves, we are in an unregulated market at the moment and everything we do involving cannabis comes with some risks, some of them risks of losing ones freedom. The only reason that we are able to function as private clubs and associations is precisely because we ‘work’ under these privacy rules. We act similarly to an individual, meaning what we do in our own space is totally private. It’s when we bring the public into things that we start to get problems.
Now what one person considers public might be different to what another person considers public and the same goes for judges that you might appear in front of. A club might set up a private club and then rent a space that is almost centre of town and recieve a constant flow of traffic. To the club owners its a private space but to others its certainly now in the public domain.
Also.. The more members you accumulate, naturally the more risk of one of your members doing something against your guidelines that can have implications for the entire group. Be it bad association, outside criminal activities, buying products from you and passing some on to non members etc etc Much of this is in reality outside of your control and if its outside of your control then you are already on a dodgy slope.
There were not what many would consider major crimes in this case, despite all the rumours and conjecture. The problems were really small and isolated and not involving all members or members of the board. However guidelines were broken from day one and there was a lack of real control and some crimes like re selling to other friends seemed to happen. These ‘crimes’ didn’t seem money motivated by the board members, more cutting corners and not knowing how to really run a business and account for every centimo and gramme that came and went.
The time for cutting corners went a long time ago.
It’s scarey to a lot of clubs and associations when this kind of result happens and it should not be this way. Clearly the industry needs regulation and total transparency so that we can work the most productive way, helping those that need medicines because I really feel we still have the opportunity to show the world how it can be operated, profit free rather than licences and taxes and high costs like the direction America is taking. We can stimulate the economy by creating jobs and taxing wages rather than a wonderful plant.
I am trying to work closer with CERCA this next twelve months and try and get the non Spanish communities to get more involved too. We are all in the same game, we all need support sometimes and language barriers are no excuse. There are so many expats from all over Europe, we really need to be adding our weight to the argument a lot more. I recommend taking a look at the CERCA website and your local FAC and get more involved where you can. Also, big votes on the 20th, wouldn’t it be great to get Podemos in? Who is voting? If like my friends its very few of you, change that, get on the padron and vote, it’s just daft not to.