Cannabis Crimes? – Help Fight for Regulation

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.

cannabis crime spainThe 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.

cannabis crime spainIn 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.logo-cerca

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.

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Medical Cannabis Association Marbella

A quick update to our situation and what’s been happening the last few weeks, it’s been very busy and that’s the excuse I am sticking to for not updating the blog as frequently as I should.

downloadSo, about a month ago, after what seemed an eternity and hundreds of potential venues we finally secured some properties. It really was a roller coaster ride finding somewhere suitable. With us wanting to be pretty much self-regulating there were lots of things to take into consideration. Then we had/have the vision to cater for those people who have been left out a little, the less socially orientated medical users who don’t feel comfortable in the ‘traditional’ cannabis lounges and on top of these considerations there were the owners of the properties who we wanted to inform about our association without going into too much detail and had to agree for their property to be used. There were several close calls along the way but now it’s done.

If I’d wanted to grow in secret in private spaces and sell cannabis products then I could have been doing that in private for the last decade. I have no particular issues with ‘black market’ as such but in our own case we are trying to work in a way that can be productive and self-regulated in a manner that might help lead to real regulation down the line right? and so the properties were an integral part of this. Our production site will be growing sggpecifically for members and not receiving ‘donations’ from outside sources and we are open to authorities about where this production takes place.

This is one area that many fellow cannabis clubs don’t feel comfortable with and some choose to go the other route of keeping the grow facility/facilities secret. That way if they do get ‘busted’ then they don’t lose all the products. I totally understand that situation and is one big reason why regulation is needed, we have just decided that we will do it the transparent way and take the risks. If we get ‘busted’ that’s when we hope we have everything else in order and accurate. From members numbers and requirements all tallying with the production itself, not over producing by the tonne (as a recent club got ‘busted’ for)

On the dispensary side, the venue was always going to be a bit different as I alluded to earlier. It has always been about people getting medicine, rather than the venue itself.
At the same time I wanted it to be somewhere that folks like my mom n dad would visit, people who although quite liberal-minded probably wouldn’t feel comfortable going to a social bar type cannabis club. This is sadly a common theme too, people’s stigmas, or more accurately peoples bosses stigmas and the fear people have about even being associated with cannabis, even if suffering ill-health. There simply is not enough CHOICE at the moment and at the end of the day, most good things in life come down to having choice.

cannabis-oilSo we finalised the ‘dispensary’ and office too. Near Marbella as oppose to Estepona where we initially started. The last few weeks has been about labouring, painting and trying to get the place respectable at the very least. It wasnt left in the best of conditions and we are on a very tight budget so not really able to fork out for the ‘cosmetic’ changes we might wish for but we are doing our best. We have all been working hard to try to build solid foundations to look after our members long-term in a secure and safe environment.

The idea is for members to generally visit by appointment and take their medicine home with them as oppose to spend time there as a social venue. It does have a pleasant garden area tho and we do make a decent cuppa. We are going to be using these new places over the coming days and hope that early visitors bear with us during these early days.

In fact feel free to chip in with any ‘labour and parts’!

For more information about memberships please view: Association Medicinal Cannabis Spain