The 4 Foundational Principles of Dagga Private Clubs
Dagga Private Clubs are meant to have principles at its foundations that reflect its integrity. This might seem confusing, because what are these foundational principles and where do they originate from? It might surprise some people to know that the concept of a Dagga Private Club doesn’t originate from South Africa. The concept is from Europe and most of the operational and foundational information we’ve been dispersing about Clubs, are from ENCOD – the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies.
ENCOD has loads of resources on Cannabis Social Clubs in Europe and how they were formed, how they operate and what the principles are that drives this initiative. In doing this, they are trying to ensure that the concept remains what it was meant to be: “to show the general public and authorities that it is possible to create an alternative to the illegal market. That it is simple to create a system of Cannabis production and distribution that takes into account the concerns for public health and safety as well as the rights and needs of Cannabis consumers and producers.
The Dagga Private Club model is not a for-profit business or a franchise model. It is not a legal loophole and it is not meant to create riches for a few and unjust actions towards others. In order to make sure that this model remains true to its intended goal, we’ve adapted ENCOD’s version of its foundational principles for Cannabis Social Clubs to our situation in South Africa.
According to ENCOD, a Club is not a network within which Cannabis is sold and bought. It provides a service to its members – a service that they should be remunerated for, seeing as there are costs involved. However, the price at which the member obtains the Cannabis should correlate directly with the cost of cultivating that Cannabis, and the cost of the administration and time of the people involved. Any possible profit or benefit that is generated by the Club through its activities, should be “used to promote its objectives, not to fill the pockets of a few”. The Club should aim to generate legitimate and stable employment opportunities through its operations, rather than have a few do the work and get all the money.
2. Community oriented
ENCOD speaks of support to international activism initiatives. While that is important, it’s also important to start in the right place – home. Therefore the Club has an innate responsibility to take care of this community of Cannabis consumers it has gathered. The Club takes care of its members by ensuring that the cultivation of Cannabis takes place according to healthy and safe methods, and by educating its community on their rights and other information as it relates to Cannabis. This internal community then has a responsibility to contribute to its external community, either by making use of any profits they may have generated or by committing their time and resources to their chosen cause. This will not only standardize the act of contributing and making a difference (something sorely lacking in the 21st century), but also doubles up as a walking testimony of the capabilities and heart of the Cannabis community to a brainwashed society.
While Clubs are encouraged to be transparent about their operations and activities, this doesn’t necessarily mean approaching a police station with your Club Constitution and letting them know about your existence. Also, to be clear, this is simply because the police are not informed of our constitutional rights, so in essence, you’d be subjecting yourself to authoritative ignorance – a situation with disastrous consequences.
Rather, Clubs are encouraged to be transparent with their members about how the Club operates and its activities. It should be legally registered associations with records of its activities, the contributions required for the cultivation of Cannabis and the Club’s social responsibility to its community.
4. Supply follows demand
This is ENCOD’s first principle and their tone makes it clear why:
“The production capacity of a CSC is based on the expected level of consumption of its members. The supply is organised in order to meet the needs of the members. Therefore, a CSC does not advertise or actively tries to recruit more members. It can only grow slowly, but solidly, just like a plant.”
Clubs must therefore determine the need of every single one of its members – what do they smoke, how much, how does it need to be grown, etc. – and then according to that, plan how much Cannabis to grow and how, to supply the need of its members.
These foundational principles should be at the heart of the formation of a Dagga Private Club. This is to help ensure that the name “Dagga Private Club” stays true to what it has been meant to be – a safe place for a group of trusted Cannabis consumers to obtain Cannabis that has been grown safely and according to proper standards that the Club is held accountable to meet. It is one of many ways we envision the Fields to be Green for ALL South Africans.
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