The Catalonian Government has approved a law to regulate the growing, selling, and smoking of cannabis. The south eastern region of Spain, with Barcelona as its capital, is the most recent part of the world to relax its restriction on weed.
It follows a campaign which gathered 67,500 signatures, forcing a government debate.
Cannabis clubs were formed in a direct response to fines issued to people smoking in public and previously operated in a state of legal limbo.
In 2014, a motion was passed asking government officials to regulate cannabis clubs but the idea quickly lost traction due to lack of agreement.
On June 28, 118 out of 127 ministers voted in favour of regulating the clubs with broad cross-party support.
“We did not want to do something halfway,” said Alba Vergés, Chairwomen of the Health Commission in Parliament. Vergés is referring to the famous “backdoor law” which existed for decades in places like Holland and Amsterdam where selling marijuana was legal but cultivation was still run by the black market. That is why growing pot is included in this landmark decision by the Catalonians.
It all sounds great right? But there are stipulations; for example the cannabis clubs may only grow enough cannabis to match the demand of their member base, and that each club is restricted to cultivating a maximum of 150 kilograms of cannabis each year.
Before you all rush to pack your bags for a summer holiday in sunny Barcelona there is also a stipulation to prevent people from elsewhere in Spain, or abroad, visiting Catalonia with the express purpose of acquiring cannabis. Anyone who applies to be a member of a cannabis club will have to wait 15 days before being able to purchase cannabis.
A regulated system for legalising adult use of cannabis in Catalonia is significant. It shows that the war on drugs has failed miserably and the only logical way to continue is to regulate the market in the best interest of consumers and businesses alike.