Spain brings to debate the regularization of cannabis

Spain reopens this week the debate on the regularization of cannabis, an issue that comes from afar and that is once again topical with the arrival in Congress of the parliamentary initiatives of three left-wing parties that aspire to reach consensus to establish a regulatory framework "consistent with social reality".

Spain is the third country in Europe with the highest consumption of cannabis, behind Portugal and Luxembourg, according to the European Observatory on Drug Addiction, while the EDADES 19/20 survey of the National Plan on Drugs (PNSD) indicates that it is the substance with the highest prevalence of consumption in the country between 15 and 64 years.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, it will be decided whether the first of the three draft bills presented by the More Country, Esquerra Republicana de Cataluña and Unidas Podemos, a partner in the government of the socialist party, will be allowed to take these initiatives to debate. parliamentary.

In case of admission, the door will be opened to dialogue in Parliament, where so far the issue has not advanced due to opposition from the majority parties.

The arguments of the formations defending the proposals lie in the easy access to the substance and in the risk that occurs as the mafias sell the product; For this reason, they request that the State begin to regulate manufacturing and consumption and incorporate the possible taxes that would be derived from the public coffers.

Consumption in Spain

According to the survey carried out by EDADES, 37.5% of those surveyed admit to having used cannabis on some occasion (2.3 points more than in 2013); the mean age of onset is 18.5 years; and 2.9% (some 3.2 million citizens) have used it daily in the last month, a slightly higher proportion than in previous surveys.

1.2% of those surveyed state that they would try hashish or marijuana if it were legal, while in 2017 this percentage was 2.4%.

In addition, the survey on the Use of Drugs in Secondary Education in Spain (ESTUDES), by Proyecto Hombre, reveals that 68.1% of students aged 14 to 17 think that it is very easy or easy to obtain cannabis.

A joint in the center of Madrid and a crop in the mountains

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The Madrid neighborhood of Lavapiés, just a five-minute walk from the central Puerta del Sol, is one of the points of sale where you can get marijuana, and other drugs, at low prices.

"For ten euros you can get almost two grams, which gives you for five or six joints", tells EFE Aina, a neighbor of the neighborhood and a habitual consumer of this substance, who defends its regulation and ensures that acquiring it on the black market "in broad daylight" it is "as easy as buying something legal".

For his part, Rafael grows to consume, annually harvests a harvest of about a kilo of cannabis, of which between 600 and 800 grams is smoked or eaten (in pastry products) throughout the year.

"I plant on my parents ‘farm and also some in the mountains or in places where they give me permission, of course having marijuana hidden there or depending on your parents’ house always gives you respect to know that if they catch you they can give you a good penalty fee", he assures.

Take care of quality and take advantage of economic returns

This producer explains that his consumption would mean spending 5,000 euros a year on the black market and that by producing by himself, in addition to saving that amount, he ensures a quality that he will not get from the mafias.

"When you plants, you choose what to smoke, the quality depends on your capacity and what you want to pamper and protect those plants", assumes before defending a possible legalization: "It is important for the State to manage, beyond private crops, it is an amount of money that well used can help to do things better".

Hugo Madera, spokesman for the European Observatory for the Consumption and Cultivation of Cannabis, expresses himself in this line, and asks for a model "well regulated with maximum possible access routes": "where the large pharmaceutical industry is, but also licenses are given for SMEs, cooperatives, individual and collective self-cultivation".

Wood considers "positive" that the regularization of cannabis can be debated in the Spanish Parliament, but denounces that at the same time "the worst moment of repression against the sector is being lived".

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