The MACA is freedom!

This is a translated post from CERCA relating to a spate of closures in recent weeks. If you are in the Barcelona area in particular you should attend the meeting described at the end of the article, no matter what your nationality. These associations are made up of normal people like you and I and we all need the support.

Last week, Thursday, February 11, the Associative Movement of cannabis Autoconsumo Association (MACA) in Barcelona closed its doors. It has done so as a precautionary measure at the request of the Court of Instruction No. 20 of Barcelona, ​​which has declared the activities of the association as unlawful when even the recent setbacks experienced with the judgments of the Supreme Court doubted the right of association.

In the Spanish State , Catalonia and the Basque Country as pioneers, people who use cannabis have managed to collectively build a system for self-supply of cannabis without having to resort to the illicit market , knowing what we consume, organizing programs to reduce risk, management pleasures, we crowded through non-profit organization of seniors, and consumers prior to we network with our environment, we are part of other social movements and jointly build a change to this nonsense that criminalizes us. We are people and we have rights. Each association is forced to close its doors are hundreds of people who are forced to return to the illicit market. And criminals are we? It is time for bold steps locally for global responsibility before us.

Maca was one of the first Cannabis Associations established in Catalonia and pioneered to open a therapeutic support led by Dr. Joan Parés only last year treated more than 100 people with problems like glaucoma, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain … a cannabis association should not be room for all these people that it is high time that they can normalize their care, monitoring and medication, but to date the associations have also led shelters information and support in these cases as necessary.

Maca is a committed partnership formed by Club members share responsibility for a project of political struggle in defense of the rights of people who use cannabis . The MACA is part of the CatFAC and FAC, REMA is part of the CAB, the CJB, ward council, and Addictions Working Group of the City of Barcelona. It is an association that is dedicated to improving the conditions of people living in your neighborhood, who cares about the environment, and which actively participates. In short, working tirelessly for peaceful coexistence.

The MACA is made ​​up of people like you , men, women, parents, workers, students, unemployed, pensioners … by activists who want to make their voices heard to give prominence to the people who use cannabis. For a society that binds to create changes and provide alternatives to iron fist following drowning us with hypocrisy and popular systems control.

We have spent many years denouncing our legal uncertainty, the real crime is to continue back to our reality. We need a comprehensive regulation of cannabis , that the laws are appropriate to the reality and needs of people. Our fight is for a drug policies that protect public health and vulnerable groups as policies based on fear, lies and the prohibition behave just the opposite. This is our commitment and, paradoxically, is what leads us to have problems with the prosecution. There is contradictory to punish us because of the huge task that involves differentiate the black market? It seems that current laws promote and protect the illicit market and once, and become a criminal penalize those struggling to get out.

The MACA closed doors today to comply with the order and respect the coexistence of rules that gives us the rule of law. And they will not stop us. Today cannabis movement joins forces with this new impact on our rights. The MACA us all !!!

For all this, we convened a Special General Assembly, Monday, 15 February at the Social Centre Street Olzinelles Sants, 30 Barcelona, ​​19:30.

It will be an open space to all organizations, institutions, people who share with us the way in the struggle for social and political rights, Civil Rights, Human Rights.

Let us force all together , and that resonates strongly slammed to close !!!

MACA will reopen the doors !!!

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.