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HASSELT - On December 18 the Belgian police seized a full harvest and 27 living cannabis plants, belonging to the members of the Mambo Social Club. The board and its members are very disappointed by this action. President Michel Degens : "The attorney wants consumers and patients to buy their cannabis on the black market than in a transparent, non -profit association."

The police action took place shortly before the planned distribution of the harvest of Mambo Social Club in the ’Borrelhuis’ in Hasselt. President Michel Degens was stopped by the police on his way to the meeting. In his car sixty legally cultivated plants were found, for the same number of members, a total of 1100 grams. This was followed by a search for one of the growing locations of the club, where 27 plants, all documented and identified by the ID cards of the members, were confiscated .

The Mambo Social Club was founded in April 2013 and had grown from the Limburg Department of the association ’Trekt Uw Plant’ in Antwerp. The association is growing 100 % organic cannabis for its members, according to the Ministerial Guideline of 2005, which states that possession by an adult of up to 3 grams of cannabis and / or one cannabis plant is no longer persecuted except in cases of nuisance or aggravating circumstances. Through a transparent and biologically sound method Mambo Social Club members are sure of the quality and purity of their cannabis and they do not need to go to the illegal market. Some of the members are medicinal cannabis users; especially for them, the police action is a big hit.

President Michel Degens: "They were looking towards holidays without pain. Like all members, they have been waiting for three months on the cannabis they would get from the club. We now need to disappoint them." Degens praised the professionalism of the local police, who acted correctly. He was not arrested and has not spent one moment in detention. "The prosecutor does not want it under his church tower, said one of the ten officers who cleared the growing site. This implies that the attorney rather wants consumers and patients to buy their cannabis on the black market than in a transparent, non -profit association."

Degens looks with confidence on the court case that is now inevitably following: " The guideline is clear and Mambo adheres to it for one hundred percent. A copy of the ID card of the owner and a declaration of ownership was hanging at each plant. Trekt Uw Plant has been acquitted twice. The judges in those cases recognized that Cannabis Social Clubs are no criminal organizations , but rather provide a healthy and safe alternative to the criminal underworld."

US writer Doug Fine just participated in a tour in Europe that was organised by Mambo Social Club. He writes:

Michel Degens is aiming to show his fellow Belgians what responsible and safe cannabis legalization looks like, he consulted local police and began a social club based on Belgium’s one-plant-per-person guidelines. Here’s an essay he wrote not too long ago about the (up until now) beautiful experience:

And here he is explaining it in person by way of introducing me at aToo High to Fail event in the UK last month.

Michel is simply a kind, terrific, and gentle fellow. His social club is named after his dog Mambo. Like the Mendocino Zip-tie farmers I documented in Too High to Fail, Mich is a top-tier operator and human who simply doesn’t want to be a criminal for choosing a safe, responsible alternative to alcohol. The Mambo social club has a several hundred person waiting list as he tries to figure out how to cultivate for more than his eighty members today — one of his biggest priorities is organic cultivation principles. Belgium today has two other social clubs. It will have hundreds when prohibition ends there as — guess what? — Belgians enjoy cannabis like the rest of humanity does. Only they wash it down with very good chocolate and even better waffles.

Please do everything you can to spread the word about Michel’s efforts and help him. He is another Drug Peace soldier leading the way to victory, in this case on the European front. Let’s help him hurdle this setback.

With thanks,

Doug Fine