Have you ever smelt (or seen) cannabis being smoked in the bars or while walking on the streets of Spanish cities? If you have, its not surprising because it is a common scene, especially on the weekends. Spain has come to be known as one of the most Cannabis friendly countries in Europe. Spain, being a decentralized state, enjoys a considerable degree of autonomy with each region enforcing their own policies.
Herbal cannabis (marijuana) and cannabis resin (hashish) are the two main cannabis products found on the European drugs market. The herbal cannabis produced in Europe is mostly cultivated indoors. Spain is a major point of entry for cannabis resin produced in Morocco, reported around two-thirds of the total quantity seized in Europe in 2014. Interestingly, Barcelona is hosting the Spannabis (trade fair for cannabis users) and the World Cannabis Conference this year.
There is a fine line between legitimate use of drugs and going against the law. For starters, growing and consuming marijuana for personal reasons, be it medicinal or recreational is not a crime. However, there can be criminal penalties imposed if there are larger plantations indicating commercial activities. Possession or use of marijuana in public places or on streets is against the law. Also, Spain strictly prohibits the selling of drugs for the purpose of trafficking which can have serious criminal charges. On the contrary, manufacturing and distributing Cannabis seeds or the equipments required to cultivate and handle them is legal. ( Image Source)
Did you know that Spain has more than 800 private cannabis clubs and Barcelona alone has more than 200 Cannabis Smoker clubs? The use of cannabis inside these clubs are expected to be responsible as these associations are in control of the member’s age and their consumption. These purportedly legalized bodies demand a membership fee and have a minimum age constraint to become members of the club. Here, the consumptions are restricted by the quantity and onsite consumptions are encouraged. But, there have been instances when few of the clubs have been raided on the suspicion of drug trafficking.
Spain’s laws does not distinguish between the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana. People who need medicinal cannabis go to the clubs to get their medicine. The Spanish region of Catalonia is finalizing plans to legalize medical marijuana. The authorities say that this will not only aid patients but also help the region to crack down on its booming cannabis club scene. Read this article to know more. ( Image Source )
Has our society become used to living with drugs? Talking about the numbers, according to the Spanish National Report 2012 by Reitox National Focal Point, the rate of prevalence of cannabis use within the last 12 months has steadily decreased each year from 1995 to 2011. The percentage of people who have used cannabis at least once had decreased to 27.4 in 2011 percent after reaching a maximum high of 31.2 percent in 2009.