In a year filled with legislative change, scientific progress and social struggle, Spanish political parties are coming out with new initiatives to transform cannabis regulation into the major vehicle against mafias and the illegal drug market.
Más País-EQUO presents itself as a responsible and ambitious project that deems ecological transition, social care and social justice as the most imperative issues that demand change in Spain. Championing a green, fair, feminist, and free country, Más País-EQUO introduced a bill in the Congress of Deputies on Monday seeking to grant cannabis the same legal status as tobacco, including all limitations related to closed spaces and access by minors. In this way, cannabis use would be banned for those under 18 or legally incapacitated. These dispositions would comply with the European Observatory on Cannabis, which establishes all cannabis uses should be “free,” acknowledging “its importance and the universal, sociological, recreational, medical, commercial, and industrial features of this plant in all its varieties.”
Más País-EQUO’s Proposals
This party intends to “safeguard those uses of cannabis and its derivatives—by companies or individuals—that strictly belong to the private sphere, including growing, possessing, transporting, storing, using, sharing, and researching on marijuana and its byproducts.” Additionally, Más País-EQUO is after decriminalisation of cannabis use in public spaces and the idea that “individuals who use cannabis for private use” should be allowed to “carry up to 10 times the permitted amount of cannabis for each day on public spaces, concealed among their belongings and avoiding open carry.”
According to the bill introduced by the party led by Íñigo Errejón, whose content could be accessed by elDiario.es, “no administrative sanctions can be imposed when the special uses regulated under this title take place in open, public spaces, unless they cause damages to third parties, represent an abuse of public spaces, or jeopardise other persons’ safety, especially in the case of minors. The use of this drug in the form of cigarettes or any other kind of inhaling methods that result in the emission of fumes will be conditioned by dispositions set forth under Law No. 28/2005, enacted on December 26th, governing limitations in certain spaces.” Apart from this, the bill provides for professional use of cannabis, and points out that “cultivation and the use of cannabis byproducts for professional purposes will require prior authorisation by the Spanish government.” Similarly, growers will be required to register with the business activity register— in a section created to that end.
ERC Introduces Bill as Well
But Más País-EQUO is not the only party pursuing changes legislation concerning cannabis in public spaces. Political party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC, by its Spanish acronym) has also introduced a bill into the Congress of Deputies intended to legalise smoking weed in the same places where tobacco smoking is allowed. This piece of legislation regulates cannabis cultivation, transport, consumption, sale, and therapeutic use in order to “reduce consumption, instead of promoting it” and “put an end to mafias and the illegal cannabis market,” explained Marta Rosique, ERC Member of the Congress of Deputies, at a press conference on Tuesday 28th—just one day before Más País-EQUO’s introduction of its own bill. This initiative focuses on addiction prevention and establishes a sanction system for those who fail to comply with the law.
ERC’s bill was drafted side by side with associations who also took part in the drafting of the Catalan Act on Cannabis Associations of 2017, CATFAC and ConFac.