If we had ten cents for every time a question about starting a Dagga Private Club appeared in our inbox, Fields of Green for ALL would be funding itself. Since we brought the concept back with us from Spain, the phrase “Dagga Private Club” has caused quite a stir among South Africans.
Cartoonist: Zapiro Published by Daily Maverick on 2 June 2020
What is a Dagga Private Club?
Based on the Constitutional Court’s privacy ruling, South Africans are allowed to cultivate and consume Cannabis in private. The Cannabis community is aware of the fact that we may exercise this right to privacy as a collective and this forms the foundation of a Dagga Private Club (DPC). The Club model aims to cater for members who cannot grow for themselves or cannot grow enough to see them through between harvests. The Club will then have growers who grow for all (or specific) members and distribute the harvests according to members’ needs. In a nutshell.
We would be foolish to pass this model off as legal. The sad truth is that your fate still largely depends on the individual that rocks up at your door. Any form of dealing in Cannabis is still illegal and there should be no misgivings about that. The DPC model is our vision for the safe consumption and access to quality Cannabis, produced by people we know and trust. We will only know how the law reacts to the DPC model once a club that truly subscribes to the privacy cornerstone of the model, ends up in court.
So, how do I start my own Dagga Private Club?
First off, you should know that this model was not designed to make anyone rich. It was designed to fill a need in your community – a need created by gaps in our current laws. The approach of the DPC model is to operate from a non-profit perspective. This forces you to follow guidelines that will make a good case against dealing in Cannabis.
When planning for your Dagga Private Club, you should always keep privacy at the forefront. The less private your club, the greater the chance of you ending up in trouble. If you have a group of friends who are unable to supply their own Cannabis, you may want to start a DPC with them. You’ll need to make sure that you have growers among those friends, who are able to supply the full demand of your members.
Once you’ve identified potential members of your DPC, you’ll need to follow a set of guidelines to decide how best to let your DPC operate. The process can get quite complicated from here and includes putting into place membership agreements, a Club constitution, Rules of Conduct and business processes, etc
Because the focus of the DPC is on taking care of the community, the model also recommends that a club adopts a cause close to its community. By actively contributing to their immediate community, members of Dagga Private Clubs can help to change the stigma that surrounds stoners – that we are lazy, incompetent and never contribute anything positive. We can also facilitate the transition from “drug dealer” to community activist through this pioneering form of “principled non-compliance” – GOOD PEOPLE DISOBEY BAD LAWS!