Europe: Belgian MP Joins Growing Cannabis Social Club Movement

Belgian Representative Stijn Bex of the left liberal party Spirit has become the first Belgian elected official to publicly join the growing Cannabis Social Club movement. The movement is designed to create associations of marijuana users who come together to grow limited amounts of marijuana to satisfy their needs without resorting to the black market. A project of the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies (ENCOD), cannabis social clubs currently operate in Spain and Belgium.

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Stijn Bex
The cannabis social clubs are a concrete manifestation of ENCOD's Freedom to Farm campaign, which, according to the cannabis social club web site, is "aimed at the right of every adult citizen in the world to grow and possess natural plants for personal use and non-commercial purposes."

In an open letter to the newspaper De Morgen, Bex announced he would become a member of Draw Up Your Plant, a cannabis social club in the Antwerp area. Draw Up Your Plant is working to establish a marijuana collective farm on the principle of one plant per member. Under current Belgian drug policy, possession of one female marijuana plant by an adult is given the lowest law enforcement priority.

Draw Up Your Plant is planning to start its first indoor garden at the end of November, and ENCOD reports that Belgian authorities plan some sort of hostile response. But the group is building support among the media, and now it has its first MP.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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