…the name is? A.C.A.M. (self medical use cannabis association) It works like this: when you deliver the protocol, the Municipality gives you the ok immediately if there are no problems… so, the license of the Municipality came immediately, and the statue has been approved in July, one month after our opening by… by the Spanish Internal Ministry. What’s the activity of this association? It’s a cultural association of smokers, yes yes… Associating is a spanish constitutional right, with no limits, so everybody can associate to do what they want only if what they do is not considered a crime in the Associative Register. After saying this… What an association says is that it will study a plant and that it will use this plant Every association can say this and it’s not forbidden for you to register your association like a consumer, that will study, paint, draw or consume… In this association, by the administrative point of view, you can do whatever you want. Private use is tolerated and admitted this is a private place like a home The consumption can be both ludic and therapeutic Here a person can register just to do a simple private use, to enjoy and relax, for any reason, and use cannabis, and the therapeutic member, that is affected by a pathology, or that is even curing himself from some disease, can make a therapeutic use. We saw that there are associations of people from Serbia, from Italy, from Holland, from Spain, from every part of Europe, from every part of the world… The door was opened by the law that has become effective from the first day of January 2011 about the prohibition to smoke in public places in Spain. The law doesn’t speak about tobacco It says that it will be allowed to smoke in private associative clubs. In Spain it’s allowed for a person to buy for maximum a week, each person is allowed to smoke ten grams a day, that is even an overstatement, but the Ministry tables say this… So, in the shared consumption, a person can decide to buy for some friends, for example for five friends for a week, and in a private place they can stay together and smoke, only if they don’t disturb the neighbors… This law has opened the door to the shared consumption in private and associative clubs too… Mariland started in 2011, but the club opened for real at the end of 2012 Now there are more than 200 clubs in Barcelona There are associations that have 150, 200 members, then there are associations like Mariland that has 1600 members, and there are some other associations that can have almost 15000 members The tourist arrives to ring the doorbell, but he can’t enter here, because… obviously we are on Google Maps, so, I mean… the tourists come, there’s nothing to do… but they don’t enter. The first rule is that who enters here must be over 21 years old, the second rule is that every new person must be accompanied by a member, who guarantees for the new comer’s behavior and for all the things that go with this Every 3 months they come to control us here to verify that the papers are all right, to verify that everything goes fine… The Police comes, the Urban Guard too… No, the Urban Guard does not enter here, they wait at the reception, until I come back with the papers they want to control because they can’t enter here if they don’t have a warrant, and I don’t allow them to do it… to respect the members, and their privacy… Always… in the 99% of the cases, we act because of other citizen’s notification, because someone informs us that in this shop they are selling drugs: we go there and we verify it, we enter, we wait the people that come out from the shop, we write the reports and we communicate to the Judge that in this shop, in that shop and in that other one… and to the Public Prosecutors… The consume is tolerated, and the self-production too, ok? A collective plantation is considered legal, ok? And the production of the association is based on this… Cultivation We know that the Supreme Court said: 12 plants can be for self-cultivation or for self-consumption, shared or not with other people living in the house The marijuana is already owned by the members, because here everything is common. The associative spirit and what the statute really says is that here everything is of everybody. Each plant of our plantation corresponds to a member. Clearly all these things remain anonymous, the names of the members are anonymous… Another thing is when you say that each member has got the right to a specific number of plants, and so you can grow a cultivation and the Municipality authorizes it… Nobody can authorize you to plant drugs or any substance that can be a drug, except the plantations authorized by the Pharmacy Department, by the Medicine Department or by the Agriculture Department. When you demand the license, they deny it to you. Recently, a Municipality in Terragona, Rasquera, demanded this license, but it was denied by the Court. The association looks after the plantation, while the member comes and gets his own part, until a maximum that we have agreed to be of 100 grams, per month… …yes, the member gives a donation, because we give an estimated price for every genetic that we grow At the moment, based on how much it costs to us, we have got a cannabis that costs not more than 7 euros per gram, it’s like a donation, and then all the cannabis economic earnings will cover all the expenses. The club does not sell and the member does not buy. The member, being a co-owner, has authorized the club to cultivate, and we are able to cultivate that quantity that the member has asked us to grow for him This quantity… what you’re talking about? 1 plant? 2 plants? 50 plants? 1000 plants? What is the quantity of plants? How much active substance do these plants contain? With which seeds have they been cultivated? And for what purposes? We usually always have from 7 to 10 types, then some genetics, like the Kritikal Bilbo, we have grown it in three different ways: the three of them in indoor, but one is made with normal soil and normal fertilizers, another is grown with totally organic fertilizers and organic soil, and it changes completely. Then we did the hydroponic one, that is almost finished… Some associations use a member to cultivate, and some pay external staff to do it… Are you working for some association at the moment? Yes… yes, yes Are you a member? No, I’m a grower that sells his products to the associations… These associations are from Barcelona? Yes. Yes, yes. I cultivate since I was 14, so it’s 23 years that I’m doing this activity. I produce more or less 10-12 kilos in indoor Per month? No, no, no, per year. …and outdoor? Outdoor 20 kilos, more or less… Does all this quantity go to the associations? Yes. It’s completely illegal. All the clubs may say that they have a legalized plantation, but a legalized plantation doesn’t exist, it does not exist. The law does’t consider this, and this is why the law must be changed. Because, if they proposed me to cultivate cannabis legally, I would have no doubt, I would do it… I would register for VAT, becoming a free lance, I would… I would create my own company and… I would do it. But anyway now you can’t do it… I’m sure that if Mariano Rajoy knew that it’s possible to earn 1.000 millions euros a year I think he would change idea immediately… For sure 10 years ago he would have said no, but now, looking at the conditions of the spanish economy, I think it could be a great source of profit for the government. Yes… there is a sort of protection from the law, but it’s a legislative void. The private use is allowed, only and always if you don’t go out from your home… If you cultivate at home, you consume the harvest in your home and you don’t sell it, If you don’t do black market with it, if you don’t deal it, well, the law is permissive with this. Also an association is permitted, because it uses the protection coming from this situation… Today everybody uses this argument in every process, in all the declarations, everybody says that they are cultivating for an association, everybody, nobody says that he is producing to deal and he comes from Colombia, nobody Anyway, the people we arrest for cultivating and for the traffic of marijuana, that once wasn’t made here and it was coming from other countries, I would say, that they are people that when they are arrested, they don’t show the same resistance that other kind of dealers used to show, years ago, for other drugs or for other substances… Transportation Secondly, even if the license to cultivate in a land existed, another license to transport the plant would be needed And I never saw a license of the Transport Department who authorizes you to transport marijuana. The legislative void arises when the marijuana is transported. We can write a verbal where we declare that in this day, at this hour, from that address, from this flowering zone or from this drying zone, that we have always registered with the agronomist engineer, we are transporting from that address to the association a certain quantity of cannabis. But this is not necessary, let’s say, for the law… The penal code talks about “any act to promote, support or facilitate the drug traffic” and for me it seems that “any act” is “any act”. I don’t know where the doubt is: “any act” is “any act”… And the administrative infraction, if you look at the article 23, it says exactly that the possession… is forbidden: “…the consumption in public places, streets, structures or transports constitutes a serious infraction for the citizens’ security” This is an administrative infraction, “like the illegal possession” So, this seems quite clear to me In the meanwhile this affirms that “who realizes acts of cultivation, elaboration, or traffic – and if you have doubts – or in any other way promotes, supports or facilitates the illegal consumption of toxic drugs…” Well, I don’t have to opine… In front of a situation like this, I inform the judge and the administration, and they will say if there is a legislative void, or if the juridical and legislative technique is improvable I’m not going to opine about juridical technique or legislative technique If you ask: “there is a legislative void?” I don’t know… the jurists have to say it… I’m a policeman, not a jurist… The consumption inside the association and in your house is tolerated and authorized, but if they catch you in the streets, for sure they confiscate you the marijuana and they give you a 400 euros fine, both if you’re smoking or not… Only if you have it in your pocket they can fine you. It’s only an administrative thing and there is no consequences on the driving license, no consequences… They give you a paper and then the fine arrives at home. They say: if you grow it and smoke it in your house, it has to remain in your private location, your private space. Legalization On the basis of the spanish legal code, there are substances that cause serious health damage, and other substances, the legal code intends, that do not cause serious health damage. And the judges or the doctors or the lawyers, each time define which substances cause serious health damage and which do not. Pursuant to a common interpretation, heroin, LSD, peyote and mescaline are substances that cause a serious health damage, while there are other substances, like tobacco, which causes a serious health damage and nobody calls it into question, but it’s not in the list of drugs written by the United Nations in 1961 in New York, and modified in 1972… I can say that in Spain most of the sentences consider that marijuana doesn’t cause serious health damage, while heroin does. Many years ago cannabis was cultivated all over Italy, and it was a country that grew huge quantity of it… …Because formerly it was, we can say, very normal. Look! Bologna, Italy, 1928. It’s clear, who is interested in a plant with so many faculties? Who is interested in changing the world from what it is now? Using biodegradable paper, a plastic that doesn’t pollute, that can be recycled entirely… All this things disturb the industrials, and the big companies… We could save the Amazon forest by doing hemp paper, and with the plastic, I’m not going to tell you how much we could free this planet from pollution… We know that cannabis has more than 55.000 different applications, and marijuana is one of these, it’s the recreational use. But beyond this use, there are many more… For example, with the seeds you could feed canaries, or you could do some other kind of culinary activities or cooking. It’s the use of the plant that you would have to explain to the judge. Fuel, food, fibers… So, the cannabis is an entire world, unlimited, that was taken away from us, during the years, because of cartels, on oil, on synthetic fibers, on drugs… They made it a little… they banned it. Cannabis Indica has a more physical function, it’s more healing at a physical level… and… it’s a painkiller, it stimulates the appetite a lot, it’s very relaxing for the body, let’s say… Cannabis Sativa acts more at a cerebral level, because the THC quantities are much higher… Apart from this, there are hybrids, that are crossbreeds between Sativa and Indica, that have indic and sative characteristics at the same time. Sure, everything that supports the legalization of marijuana is good, but the conditions to realize it, are another thing… We are… everyday in the front line, fighting for the legalization, for the regulation of plantations, clubs, non clubs, of the things clubs can do or can’t do… Because there are a lot of clubs that act like Coffee Shops, in the true sense of the word… they even sand promoters in the streets, and this promoter tells people: “Hey, I can make you register, come with me…” and the clubs even pay these promoters and this is a thing that is absolutely forbidden, it goes exactly against the associative spirit… But little by little we are arriving anyway always more, hopefully, to a greater… to a legalization, basically… At least people know what they are smoking, and one could start to get informed on what is more or less suitable for him… And in any case, what are we waiting for? I mean, the mafia is earning from it, it’s earning since many years and we continue to allow this… A lot of associations have bloomed in Barcelona and this is a good thing, because it has given us the freedom to smoke what we want and to have something like a menu, isn’t it? I appreciate having a menu to choose what kind of marijuana fits better with me everyday. But behind all this, there is a lot of money, franchises between associations have been founded and this doesn’t support the legalization of the plant. It goes a little bit in the wrong direction… Some associations are acting very well, but others less… and they take advantage from the legislative void to make money. It’s very difficult to talk about the associations in general terms, they should be analyzed case by case: in this association we did an investigation and we found this result, in another one, the investigation took to an opposite result… So, some pay the taxes, some don’t pay the taxes, some launder, and some don’t launder… There are extortions and threats or theft between them too… In every association? No! I can report only the specific cases where we could verify that there has been an extortion, a threat, a vengeance, lesions or fights during a theft. This is the situation. And this is what is going on, and it’s because of this that now we have got one more 0 in the fines made to marijuana smokers… So, we wanted to go towards the legalization, but this is what we have obtained… I’m not completely sure of it… but… I support the associations, for sure, but the way they are doing it here in Barcelona… no. This is why for me it’s difficult to talk about the associations. Truly, if this system worked well, we could save a lot of people and a lot of things… It would be great, it would be like changing the world, basically, and the society in which we are living. The cannabis should be shared, and there is no law that allows us to do it easily, this is the problem… I feel confident, I’m optimistic and I believe in improvements about the cannabis theme… with some… right limits… a fair control… I think that with a certain simplicity it is possible to regulate it… or to normalize the process of this legal void. It will be much easier for everything, much more for the members, for the associations, for the collective in general… Yes, yes… We will see what is going on in the future, but hey, the story of the plant is not finished… Free weed!