Parliament to pass first cannabis law

Catalan parliament will approve pioneering law to regulate use and legal cultivation under strict control

Innovative and pioneering. That defines the bill proposed by associations of cannabis consumers, which will be discussed and approved at the next plenary session of Parliament on June 28, just a year after being tabled in the House. The initiative is the product of a platform of consumer associations, known as La Rosa Verda which gathered the 50,000 signatures required to force a Popular Legislative Initiative (ILP). Currently in Catalonia there are 721 cannabis associations on the Register of Associations of Catalonia, almost half are in the province of Barcelona.

Rosa Verda spokesperson and director of the Center for Civil Drugs Oriol Casals says that consumers and associations are satisfied with the regulations stipulated in the bill, the result of a commission with evidence given by thirty experts who informed MPs of the pros and cons of legislation on cannabis. “We respect the spirit of the law that we proposed and in some ways improved,” says Casals, who also stresses that “it is the first law in Europe which is realistic, allowing the recreational use of cannabis, not only therapeutic, and regulates cultivation.”

In Spain, the law on narcotics dates from 1967. In Catalonia, the Government established recommendations based on balancing the interests of health and safety, and several councils have bylaws to regulate cannabis associations, their activities and location, for example, the proximity of clubs to schools.

The law states that the use of cannabis by adults in private, is “an option that is part of the exercise of the fundamental right to the free development of personality.” It also recognises that the “prohibitionist policies have been ineffective in reducing consumption and drug trafficking.”

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