LEGAL STATUS OF CANNABIS
1. Consumption and possession
Use of drugs in a private place is allowed. Possession or use of drugs in a public place (in the street, in a bus, in your own car if it is in the street, in a bar, etc.) is not a crime, but it is a violation of the law: fines are 300 euros minimum.
Cultivation for your own use (for recreational or medicinal or another purpose) is allowed. If the judge thinks that this cultivation is not for own use, it will be a crime (punishable from 1 to 3 years).
Selling drugs is a crime. For cannabis, the conviction goes from 1 year till 3 years of jail and a fine.
4. Provision of seeds, tools to produce and consume cannabis, hemp products etc.
It is legal to sell or to buy seeds and other hemp products (it depends on THC levels).
5. Production and distribution of hemp products
It is legal to sell or to buy seeds and other hemp products (it depends on THC levels). This is the law. Then the police have their own laws…
Contact for Cannabis Activism in Spain:
Federación de Asociaciones Canábicas
Martín Barriuso, Tel. + 34 670996335
POLICIES ON OTHER DRUGS
In Spain, there has traditionally been an attitude of tolerance towards the use of mind-altering substances among the population. After a short period of widespread social alarm following an epidemic of especially intravenous heroin use in the end of the 1970s, policies have turned towards harm reduction as a basic principle, that counts with broad acceptance among society. This can be observed through the relative tolerance towards use of cannabis and other drugs in public places, which is quite unique in Europe.
Spanish drug legislation is based on a law of 1967, which has been revised several times. Consumption has never been a criminal offence. In 1991, a law was approved that determines administrative sanctions for possession of even the smallest quantity of drugs and consumption in public places.
This law (Ley Corcuera) is currently under severe criticism for being discriminatory and counterproductive. As one can avoid paying the sanction (of approx. 300 EUROs) by inscribing themselves in a treatment centre, these centres are overwhelmed by people who do not really need treatment (and in most cases do not want it), while others who may need and want it cannot find a place.
The introduction of harm reduction programmes was meant to curb the increasing HIV-epidemic among intravenous drug users (IDU) in the 1980s. The consequences of this epidemic are still visible today: Spain is the country with relatively highest scores on HIV/Hepatitis C infections among intravenous drug users. However, the tendency of the increase and the number of deaths has been diminished significantly after the introduction of needle exchange programmes, maintenance therapies, consumer rooms and recently, the controlled distribution of heroin.
In several regions in Spain, safe injection rooms are operational. There is consensus among police, legal and political authorities that this approach should be maintained. In May 2001, the government approved the implementation of trial projects to distribute heroin to long term users, which have started in the Regional Communities of Andalusia in 2003. Pill testing of XTC and other designer drugs is taking place in dance events, though it is not known in which extension.
In March 2001, the regional parliament of Catalonia has (with the support of all parties including the PP) approved a law proposal to permit the use of cannabis in treatment of certain diseases. A mixed Commission of members of the Spanish Senate and the Congress received a group of cannabis activists in June 2001. In March 2004, a new government took power, that is generally considered to be friendly towards drug policy reform. However, it is not sure if this will lead to new law proposals.
In 2000, Spain was the first European country to offer support to the Plan Colombia, a heavily criticised strategy to wipe out drug production by force, promoted by US government. Later, the Spanish government had to reformulate this offer in order to take part in a joint EU initiative towards Colombia.
CONTACT FOR DRUG POLICY REFORM IN SPAIN: Virginia Montañes
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