April 20th is back again, a date that’s become synonymous with cannabis, and a time for celefWDXations and protests around the world, when millions will be burning or otherwise consuming the flowers of Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, also known as marijuana, although, as “Gape Agape” the person interviewed for this feature – a representative of the Slovenski konopljin socialni klub (SKSK)– said right at the start of our discussion:
We'd like to emphasize that we do not like the term marijuana, because it was too often connected with prohibition and the propaganda that had led to it. We prefer the term cannabis [konoplja, in Slovene]. Similarly, we do not like the term medical, but rather medicinal — in the sense of traditional healing with herbs and such. In this context, all cannabis is medicinal.
With the correct nomenclature noted, we set out to find out more about the work of SKSK, and the campaign of legal cannabis in Slovenia.
What’s the overall goal of SKSK?
We want to that everybody can use cannabis, and not only cannabis for self-healing. For this, it is imperative that people be able to produce their own supplies, self-supply – meaning be allowed to grow their own medicine in sufficient quantities.
To achieve this it is vital that the growing of cannabis is not – by default – treated by the law as if intended for criminal activities, but understood as the free-growing of naturalised herb.
What is the next step in achieving this?
We’ve already succeeded in moving the plant from group 1 (the most dangerous substances) into group 2 of the Decree on the Classification of Illicit Drugs. Next, we need to get cannabis and THC to group 3, or remove them both – which would be the best thing – from the Decree.
What would the benefits of legalisation be for Slovenia?
It is already legalised and decriminalised to a certain extent, but growing cannabis is still potentially (by default) treated as an offence or crime. We thus demand naturalization – meaning having no legal limitations for growing and using the plant.
The benefits of liberating cannabis this way – all the way – would be numerous: lots of new jobs in growing, processing and researching the plant. The possibilities of use, and therefore options for selling it and making money, are unlimited, since the plant can be used in medicine, cosmetics, food, and can even substitute for oil – as a fuel, for making plastic – at least partially.
Is there a foreign model you want to follow?
There is no existing model (that we know of) that would be good enough for us – none of them enables free-growing that we strive for. Self-supply is allowed in certain models, but the quantities allowed are far too low to make enough medicine to cure cancer, multiple sclerosis or other serious conditions.
All existing models are steps in a better direction, but we want cannabis to be free of any legal restrictions. When there are no legal limitations there are also no limitations for discovering new applications for the herb.
How do you feel about CBD?
If we put it (too) simply: CBD helps, THC heals. The basic difference between the two is that CBD helps heal inflammation (which is the cause of numerous serious health conditions) while THC gets rid of deformed/mutated cells (i.e.. cancer cells which are unable to die and reproduce incessantly). But they are just two major cannabinoids, there are several others that play important roles in healing the body; our body needs the whole spectre of substances contained in cannabis – entourage effect.
Talking about the great majority of the “legal CBD”, the main problem is that pharmaceutical products are “cleaned” of the THC due to prohibition/regulation. Consequently, everything is diminished: cannabinoids, terpenes and other healing substances. Another problem is that CBD, being legal, is advertised as cannabis itself, but it isn’t. Too many substances are missing to equate it to the whole plant. The endocannabinoid system in human body cannot work optimally without cannabinoids, especially THC.
What do you think will happen with cannabis in Slovenia in the next few years?We will continue to work on achieving our goal – liberating cannabis of all the legal restrictions so anyone can use it in any time for any purpose. So, we will work on increasing awareness of all the benefits of the plant.
When cannabis finally becomes free for people to grow and use, we intend to continue doing what we do now, and more: educating people, growing and processing plants, finding out and creating new ways of use, selling the products…
Are there any regional differences in attitudes to cannabis in Slovenia?
Yes, there are. The centre of Slovenia is less restrictive towards cannabis, the south-west is quite nice too. But in the north-east the cannabis-related offences are treated 70% as criminal deeds, and only 30% as offences, while it is just the opposite in other regions. In the north-east growing forbidden cannabis has quite a long tradition, and is therefore more strictly punished by establishment. But the situation is getting better everywhere.
strong>Which politicians or arties are most supportive of your aims?
None, except for the ZSi movement. We tried to cooperate with lots of them, like Levica (The Left) and Pirati (The Pirates), but none of them made any substantial difference. They might claim they moved cannabis to group 2, but there were more than 50 complaints about the first change of the before mentioned Decree.
If people want to help, what can they do? (add any contact details, events, places to give money, etc)
They can get educated: www.sksk.si
Or they can support our work by donating at our bank account:
IBAN SI56 6100 0000 3512 814
Everybody can help in their own way in promoting cannabis, by growing it, using it, giving it a good name…
What do you have planned for April 20?
We’re going to paint Easter egg, of course...
However, on April 19th ŠOU (Student Organization of University of Ljubljana) is organizing the Million Marijuana March and we’ll be there. You can visit us at our stand where you can get free Ruletka rolling papers and other material.
We don’t really support 4:20 – that one should smoke cannabis only after 4:20pm. We want people to use it any time they want, even to start in the morning, not only after finishing their job.
“Zu3 se NaFu3” (= feed yourself in the morning) is one of our mottos.