Here at ISMOKE we are dedicated to giving a voice to Cannabis Users, and since attending Hyde Park on 20th April we have been investigating some cannabis clubs in the UK.
We were lucky enough to attend the Brighton Cannabis Club event on Saturday, meeting some great people committed to helping change Britain’s cannabis laws.
So what is a Cannabis club, and where can you find your local club in the UK? UK Cannabis Social Clubs (UKCSC) has written a handy guide about joining or starting a cannabis club, and we wanted to share it with our readers.
If you run a cannabis social club in London or nearby feel free to email us – we are looking to feature cannabis clubs on ISMOKE Magazine as well as to attend and write about cannabis events.
Many people in the UK may be wondering how they join or start their own Cannabis Social Club. Many people will be wondering what is a Cannabis Social Club and how do they operate if they are illegal in the UK. Well, the UKCSC model of Cannabis Social Clubs is based on building a network of like-minded people in like-minded communities that don’t just want to enjoy the benefits and have fun but are proactively taking a role in trying to change the law, public perception and raising awareness of the problems of prohibition whilst highlighting the pro’s of a regulated and taxed cannabis market.
Rather than selling cannabis products our clubs put on events and facilitate the growth of a national industry without trying to inhibit individual’s entrepreneurial endeavours. Our aim is to try and make it safer for cannabis consumers by advocating a regulated model, legal jobs instead of criminal penalisation and being a face and a voice in the media for those that want the right to grow their own at home without lawful interference. Within our CSC model we have a model for those that wish to grow for themselves of for members on a non-profit fair trade costing system which allows a Collective to tag 9 plants. This model is ideal for patients that are looking for extra support if the worst should happen and the UKCSC would support these patients or personal growers in court. UKCSC’s work towards creating Private Members Clubs to create a trusted community and provide some safety to members.
We believe that standing together makes us stronger and adopting a standardised model for personal cultivation will help change the status quo in the United Kingdom. We have already worked with several police forces across the country in helping them reprioritise minor cannabis offences in their constabulary. There are now 4 forces in the country with this stance and through the growth of the CSC model we have created we hope to continue adding more counties to this list of these with a more sensible approach.
There are dozens of Cannabis Social Clubs in the UK that do not follow our model and are operating on a for-profit basis that have popped up since we started our movement in 2011. This choice is always down to the individual and they should understand the risk of what they are undertaking all the same and not believe that because there is a large number of clubs happening in some way or another in the UK that it makes it legal to do so.
All UK Cannabis Social Clubs are independently run and make their own calendars, own club decisions and chose how much they want to get involved on the activist side of things – we consider running a club an act of civil disobedience and therefore activism in itself but we also recognise first-hand the benefit to our clubs it brings by campaigning in the mainstream and offering hope to those who have not yet found their voices.
Find like-minded people
How do I do this? First port of call is to ask your social group what they think of the idea of having a cannabis social club. If you are still alone in your new found quest search to see if there is a local club to you already. If there is why not go and offer our energy or skills? If there isn’t any luck there start a Facebook Page and contact us at the UKCSC to help make people aware of your intent.
(See our flyer above)
Plan a local event
If it is a good time of the year to hold an event outside this is the best way to get people along where they can participate and meet new people while protesting against the current drug laws. You may get a few, you may get a few hundred – you will never know until you stick you build it, and with the current surge in support for reform, they should come. Telling the media you are holding it will give you some free advertising. If it is the time of year where indoor events are more suitable why not team up with the UPA and put on a Patients Perspective day and allow patients to come and tell their stories, maybe you could invite the local press and get some free advertising for your new club?
Form a committee
With the interested people that have come forward it is now time to officially form your Cannabis Social Club. This usually consists of a Chairperson, Membership Secretary & Treasurer as well as members taking responsibility for social media, press relations and event management. It’s up to you how you want to run your clubs in the long run.
Reach out to your local community
There are already 100’s of cannabis friendly people around you in your towns and cities across the UK. You need to let them know you exist and find out how you can work together in the future. It may not come to you straight away but knowing what your local resources are is a great asset. Music collectives with sound systems or event space? A marching band for the Global Cannabis March or 420 event? Private Members Clubs that would rent you their space? Anything 420 related, your headshops, grow shops and anything you can think of – and don’t forget to think outside the box, don’t just think with your head in the proverbial clouds.
Engage with the local consumers/supporters and make them members
Think up and plan out a calendar for the year. Map out any events you want to have and give yourself plenty of time to prepare, this way you can also advertise to your members or visitors your future events and have less worry about getting the full turn out at the next event. Forward planning will be your best friend. Engage with your local community and let them know that there is someone fighting their corner and letting them know how their support can help. Together you are stronger and tell them about all the fun social events that are waiting to happen.
We hope this gives you a further understanding of what the UK Cannabis Social Clubs are trying to achieve and how they are going about it. Our main goal is to have fun and help those in our community, if we can do that while proactively taking a stance against the current system we are on our way to winning.
If you would like help with getting your club started please get in touch at [email protected] or if you would like to register your existing club and become part of our activist community network fill in this online form and we will get in touch with you shortly.
Check out the current UKCSC list here.
Read the UKCSC model here.
This is a reposted article from our friends over at UKCSC. If you want more information on the subject discussed, please email: [email protected] and check out the original post here: http://ukcsc.co.uk/how-can-i-start-a-cannabis-social-club/
The next large-scale cannabis event will be Green Pride in Brighton on July 2nd, and it would be great to see you there!