Belgium. Michel Degens (pictured above,), one of Europe's leading cannabis campaigners, has been left shocked after his legal cannabis social club was raided by the Police. Michels 'Mambo Social Club' is legal under Belgian law which permits one plant to be grown for each member of the club. Michel has been very careful to run his club carefully, he has regularly met with the Mayor and the Police Chief in his local city of Hasselt. Each plant grown has a copy of the relevant passport of the social club member attached to it and all members of the Mambo Club are responsible adult users of cannabis.
Michel reports that the Police were respectful and courteous during the raid, they explained that they were only 'following orders' from the Department of Justice. However Michels plants have been taken. The biggest beneficiaries of the Police raid have been the local street dealers in the city of Hasselt who are now enjoying a boom in business thanks to the unconstitutional raid. Presumably the Mambo Club members are now buying their pot on the streets. It is ironic that the Police raid has swapped a safe and regulated system for a criminal supply chain.
Michel remains in confident spirits, the previous two raids on Belgian cannabis social clubs failed to lead to any convictions, and the same is likely here. Although the events must have been traumatic for Michel the 'Mambo Incident' could prove to be an important test-case in Belgium which may actually benefit the cannabis movement in the longer term.
Dutch Passion sends their best wishes to Michel and the rest of the Mambo clubJanuary 2nd 2014