While legalization has sculpted the cannabis landscape here in the United States, cannabis has a very different model in Europe. The most popular way for cannabis consumers to safely access and use cannabis is in cannabis social clubs (CSCs).
These clubs first popped up in the Netherlands, but they’ve become more and more popular across Europe, particularly in Spain and Belgium. Much like a collective garden, cannabis social clubs tend to be non-profit organizations that grow and cultivate cannabis and then distribute it among club members, who pay a membership fee to buy and consume the product in a safe, controlled environment.
Mambo Social Club is Belgium’s second cannabis social club, and they will be going to appeal a case against them in the court of Antwerp today, May 28, 2015. The club was sentenced by the Court of First Instance last year for the cultivation and possession of cannabis, but Michel Degens remains optimistic that there will be a positive outcome:
“Cannabis Social Clubs offer a safe alternative to adult consumers who don’t want to buy cannabis on the black market. It’s a non-profit model of cannabis production and distribution that promotes health, safety and responsible. CSC’s are the solution, not the problem.”
The club's main goal is to reduce the risk and harms associated with cannabis in the black market by monitoring and limiting consumption and taking measures to ensure the eligibility of its members. This is precisely the kind of responsible cannabis consumption that should be rewarded rather than punished. Perhaps a day in court at Antwerp will bring some light and clarity to this issue — we wish you the best of luck today, Belgium!