Original petition in German: Überarbeitere Petition für Augsburg
Translated by: 8bipolar8 @ DHV-Forum
The petition for a municipal model test for the distribution of cannabis is constantly being developed by us. This applies to both the petition text itself and to the justification. Additionally, there is now an estimation calculation available to show the local authorities that the project could be operated without extra costs. The (german only) FAQ on the petition have also been revised. This is the current version of the petition that was sent to two interested persons in Augsburg on the 25th of september.
To the City Council
Petition according to Sec. 56 of the Municipal Code for the Free State of Bavaria
To whom it may concern,
I would like to address the following petition to you as my elected representatives:
“May the City of Augsburg together with interested citizens develop the concept for a model test for the distribution of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes and apply for the required exemption permit acc. to Sec. 3 (2) BtMG (Narcotics Act) at the Federal Institute for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Products (BfArM).
I propose the concept of a cannabis social club (CSC). It shall be operated in a secured location according to the following rules:
Every municipality resident from the age of 18 years can become a member.
The cannabis is cultivated, harvested, and processed by the members.
Only club members can buy the cannabis for a contribution towards costs.
Every member can buy a maximum of one gram per day.
Members are allowed to carry up to 6 grams outside the club’s premises.
Trading cannabis or giving it to third parties, particularly to minors, remains illegal and leads to expulsion.
The rules shall be modified for medical patients as required.
The municipality ensures the orderly operation, controls safeness, quality, active ingredient content, and distribution of the cannabis. In addition, the municipality provides adequate offers for prevention, information, support and risk reduction, for example by advocating smokeless methods of consumption like vaporizers.
The model shall be designed so that participants do not encounter disadvantages, particularly no risk of legal prosecution.
The project could be supervised and evaluated scientifically.
The attached estimation calculation shows that the project would be cost-neutral for the municipality.
Alternatives to the CSC model can be cultivation by the municipality itself and distribution by the municipality or through pharmacies.”
Cannabis bears risks for consumers and society. Society is threatened indirectly by the black market, where organized crime and Hell’s Angels are active, and is burdened with prosecution costs. Prosecution is the worst side effect for consumers.
The aim and purpose of the currently valid German Narcotics Law is (acc. to the government bill of the German Narcotics Law 1981, Governm.Journal 8/3551, p. 23 f.) to protect health and to regulate the distribution of narcotics to warrant their safeness and control, to ensure sufficient medical supply of the population, and to prevent the abuse of narcotics and the formation or preservation of a narcotics addiction.
The concept of Cannabis Social Clubs serves public interest and advocates the aim and purpose of the Narcotics Law, because it provides the following advantages:
The cannabis can be tested for its quality and THC content, and is free of hazardous extender substances and other impurities.
Promoting tobaccoless and smokeless forms of consumption reduces negative effects by cannabis consumption.
Weakening the black market reduces organized crime profits and uncontrolled distribution, particularly to minors, is cut down.
Offering prevention, information, support and risk reduction in a CSC can promote good health and provide better protection against abuse and addiction, as these measures directly reach consumers.
The police is relieved from having to prosecute consumers and can take care of other forms of crime.
Medical patients are provided with a cost-efficient access to their medicine.
Section 3 (2) of the German Narcotics Law (BtMG) explicitly permits exemptions for “scientific and other purposes serving public interest.” A decision by the Federal Constitutional Court from 20 January 2000 (ref. AZ2 BvR 2382 – 2389/99) states: “Following this, the medical supply of the population is also a purpose that serves public interest and that may justify an approval (…) in individual cases.”
In accordance with Sec. 3, every person, but also every club and every municipality can apply for a model test for the distribution of cannabis. The federal model project for a heroin-supported treatment of opiate addicts is one example of exemptions according to Sec. 3 BtMG. Another one is the approx. 150 persons in Germany that have a license to buy cannabis from the pharmacy.
The yearly report on the drug situation in Germany in 2012 by the Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drugs Addiction (DBDD) found that about 3 million persons have consumed cannabis in the last year. About 15 million persons have consumed cannabis at least once, were 1.5 million persons who had consumed in the previous month. Related to the number of inhabitants of Augsburg, this would be 10,000 cannabis users in the previous year resp. 5,000 in the previous month. According to the association “Cannabis in Medicine”, an additional 0.1 to 1% of the population could also benefit from cannabis as a medicine, which adds up to 2,700 persons.
The prosecution costs for cannabis users in our municipality of 270,000 citizens are €3.2 million per year, while according to a statistic by the German Centre for Addiction Issues (DHS) only €100,000 are spent for addiction prevention for all legal and illegal drugs. The municipality should pursue an agreement with the federal state to benefit from the cost reduction in prosecution.
Augsburg alone has the potential for 26 to 50 cannabis social clubs for recreational users alone. For each of these clubs, half an extra permanent post is planned for prevention, information, support and risk reduction actions which amounts to an additional investment of 1 to 2 million Euro into this area without the municipality having to spend any extra money.
A majority of Bavarian citizens are against the current criminalization and in favor of liberating cannabis policy. Three quarters of German citizens are in favor of using cannabis as a medicine.
The CSC concept has been successfully operated in Belgium and Spain for several years.
The following calculations are based on conservative estimates and apply to only one cannabis social club. The costs per club decrease with every additional club, because security costs for the grow room do not increase linearly, and the effort to start off the project only needs to be made once.
It is a lot cheaper to produce cannabis under legal conditions than under illegal conditions. Experts from the USA assume that the production price for one gram will be clearly below €1 after legalization. When considering the output of a CSC, the smaller scale and higher German energy costs have to be taken into consideration.
The Dutch company Bedrocan produces cannabis as a medicine in pharma grade quality for €3 per gram with an annual output of 150 kg. However, production costs in a CSC are assumed to be lower, because it is not necessary to adhere to clinical standards and the cultivation can be done on a voluntary basis by the members.
When cultivation is done by members of the CSC with support by one municipal employee, the price will certainly not be higher than €2.
The black market price for small amounts of cannabis is in the range of €6 to €15, DBDD assumes €9 as the average. The black market wholesale price is around €4,300 per kg. Users are usually ready to pay at least €8 per gram for clean and high-quality cannabis.
Average users including casual users consume 1 to 2 grams per week. Without casual users, a consumed amount of 20 to 40 grams per month can be concluded. Medical patients can use 1 or more grams per day.
A cannabis social club with 200 consumers (incl. casual consumers) or 40 consumers (without casual consumers) or 20 medical patients would need a supply of 15 kg per year.
The difference between the production price and the sale price for members is €6 per gram. This equals €6,000 per kg and year for operating the cannabis social club and pay the municipality’s costs. For an annual amount of 15 kg, this amounts to €90,000.
The production costs for the cannabis decrease significantly when several or bigger clubs are operated, while costs do not increase in proportion.
€29,000 personnel costs for half a permanent post acc. to E08 (civil service pay grade)
€6,000 material costs for half a post
Offering prevention, information, support and risk reduction at the CSC
€34,000 personnel costs for half a post E12
€6,000 material costs for half a post
€15,000 alternation costs for securing the grow room equals to €3,000 per year for a five year operation.
€36,000 + €6,000 Euro for half a post E13 to start off the project and to apply at the BfArM equals €8,400 per year.
In total, this equals costs of €86,400 per year.
Patients should be able to buy at a reduced price, e.g. €4 per gram. This means, a cannabis social club with 20 medical patients only has €30,000 to use for other purposes. A cross-subsidization between recreational users and medical patients is possible and desirable. As medical patients are under a physician’s care, offering prevention, information, support and risk reduction measures is not as important in that case.