New Zealand cannabis consumers need safe access and a solution to the problems that prohibition causes in society.
The Cannabis Social Club model has benefits over the current “free-for-all” market that has flourished under prohibition. The results of this are drastically inflated prices, unacceptable quality such as contamination, mould, under weight deals, early harvested product and no protection for those that are vulnerable such as the young. Dealers don’t ask for ID but most (not all) will happily take a teenagers money.
We have a much better way to approach the situation that takes cannabis off the streets without having to criminalise hundreds of thousands of people at the cost of the tax payer.
1. AGE REGULATION – Cannabis is for adults (from 18+) and for anyone that is using cannabis medically, which sometimes unfortunately happens to be children. They would be supervised by an adult and have doctors consent and proof of their medical condition. To sign up to a club proof of age will be required and any one not yet 18 will be turned away.
2. PRIVATE MEMBERSHIP – The only way to join a club is to know someone in a club and to be invited in. Clubs do not openly advertise membership or promote the sale of cannabis. Having private membership clubs keeps cannabis off the streets and away from those who may be offended or influenced. Only trusted friends are invited to join and are vetted by members in order to be let into the club. Privacy and security is paramount.
3. QUALITY CONTROL – Consistancy in the product you pay for is important to consumers and it is a matter of health for medicinal consumers that are patients with a wide range of disorders from arthritis to Parkinsons, MS, Crohns’s or several types of cancer. Having set standards requiring mould and contamination screening, checks for pests, pesticides and fungicides which can be harmful. Cannabinoid and terpene profiling is also desirable so consumers know what they are using – high or low THC and whether the product has any CBD in it, or if it is an indica or sativa. It is possible to know all of these things so we should exercise them.
4. ANTI CRIME – The concept of the Cannabis Social Club is that it breaks the link to the criminal world. Crime gangs currently take advantage of cannabis prohibition. Domestic houses are converted to grow houses and young children are exposed. CSC’s also prevent children from getting into the cycle of selling cannabis at an early age for gangs that do not want to take the risk but have no care of the welfare of children. CSC’s separate cannabis from the rest of the illicit drug market and people that want to cultivate cannabis can do so as part of a closed loop system for members of a private club. By allowing home growing less people will be dependent on the market.
5. INDUSTRY JOBS – Cannabis Social Clubs will require members of staff for a range of jobs. The average number of staff employed by CSC’s in Spain is 12 who all pay National Insurance on their wage. NZ is capable of providing Thousands of jobs such as gardening, trimming, processing, packaging, tending etc in the first year benefiting unemployment numbers. More businesses will register which means more accountant, legal, secretarial jobs will be created along with cleaning, plumbing, air extraction, electrician, and building work in general (which is seeing the most growth in Colorado due to legalisation).