Cannabis Regulation Proposal
Cannabis regulation is a topic that is on everyone’s mind all around the globe; many countries have legalized it while many others still treat marijuana as a taboo subject. The level of prosecution that cannabis has received over the last few decades is the reason why a lot of people still see it as something dirty, evil even, instead of just a simple plant with a myriad of medicinal and recreational properties. The actions taken by the Spanish Government has in fact caused the amount of marijuana users to increase, meaning that there’s a constant influx of commercial growers, a typical supply and demand scenario. This has pushed organizations to put forward proposals to regulate cannabis in Spain; we’ve reached a point in which its necessary to change the law.
The Grupo de Estudio de Políticas sobre el Cannabis (GEPCA) has worked on a regulation system with it they plan on changing the current national panorama. The group is made up mainly of lawyers, psychiatrists and pharmacists that, after a series of studies, affirm that they have an efficient alternative to the horrible failure of a system that Spain has right now. Xabier Arana, a member of GEPCA and a doctorate in Law states that cannabis has been, is and will be in our society, so to achieve a more responsible use with reduced risks it’s important to think about people’s rights when talking about legislation.
They’re trying to get the proposal to reach the Congress of Deputies, presenting it to all modern political parties where it’s expected to be well received due to the fact that cannabis regulation has been proposed by various parties already.
While the new parties (Podemos and Ciudadanos) seem to have a more open and innovative point of view, parties like the Partido Popular have quite a traditional, conservative opinion, staying firmly against regulation. At GEPCA they’re convinced that laws imposed by the PP in as far as cannabis are the reason why absolutely anyone that has money can buy cannabis anywhere in Spain even if they’re underage or know nothing about the substance they’re about to consume.
Some of these laws are a result of changes added along with the Public Safety Law (Gag Rule), which say that anyone found guilty of consuming or illegal possession of drugs will be accused of a serious infringement upon the law and will be sanctioned with a fine from 601 to 30,000 euro, regardless of if you’re going to use it for medicinal or recreational purposes. Holland is a perfect example; they’ve had marijuana regulation for years and right now they have less consumers than Spain and the US.
If regulation was a thing, young people would be able to get information on cannabis at school so that they’d know exactly what drug they were consuming. Nowadays, most kids start smoking without even knowing what it is or what secondary effects that it might give them. If it’s considered something normal from a young age, and taught in schools using proper information on how to use it correctly and the effects it might have, then the amount of regular consumers might actually be lower.
In among the many propositions made by GEPCA, you can find freedom for growers, which would allow controlled crops as long as they’re for personal use (maximum 6 plants for 5 people). For those who don’t have the correct conditions in which to grow marijuana, a market would be created which would in turn create companies dedicated to breeding and growing cannabis, and others dedicated to its distribution. There’s also some points made related to the regulation of cannabis clubs due to the fact that these sorts of associations have revolutionized national consumption methods. They would get the possibility to grow their own plants, as long as they were of a certain number, with which to supply the members of their clubs yearly.
We’ll still have to wait to find out how all of this plays out due to all of the possibilities, but we hope that it goes well- We also hope that it doesn’t end up regulated in a way that growers and consumers get the bad end of the stick, because although we want it regulated it could also end up completely prohibited to grow your own plants, similar to what happened with tobacco; in this case, we’d have to pay whatever price we’re told to get our product, as well as tax.
Translation: Ciara Murphy