July 14, 2017 Catalonia and Madrid
Being a cannabis hub is highly significant anywhere in the world. It is a matter of millions and billions of dollars at stake. In Europe, there is great rivalry between Spain and Netherlands on the matter. In both countries, authorities have properly regulated the drug and are enjoying the benefits of a thriving industry.
Generalitat de Catalunya—a regional government—has finally made a measure that has made consumers of cannabis tear up with joy. It has passed a measure that would go on to legalize cannabis clubs! There are several cannabis social clubs that operate in Europe. The ones registered will now be allowed to cultivate and distribute cannabis, not to mention the permission to consume the herb.
The law has been passed by the regional parliament. It has permitted the clubs to grow enough cannabis to cater to all of their members. However, there is a cap for every individual. Adults 21 and older can only receive 60 grams of cannabis each month while those between the ages 18 and 21 will be allowed to receive 20 grams of cannabis a month.
There were around 67,500 signatures that were collected to get the measure in place. This is a lot more than what was required—50,000 signatures. The measure was also passed with a staggering number of 118 votes in favor and nine against it. This has posed a major challenge for Madrid.
As for Catalonia, it is the third out of the 17 regional governments that have approved of this law. Basque Country and Navarra have also followed in its footsteps. Mariano Rajov—the Conservative Prime Minister of Spain–has actually challenged the Basque Country legalization in the High Court. As per the buzz, the Catalan law may be prone to a similar challenge in the near future.
The national law of Spain, on the other hand, is still ambiguous on the matter of cannabis cultivation. The “Citizen Safety Law” that was passed a few years ago may be the reason. It had tightened up Spain’s decriminalization policy. It also resulted in severe penalties on public protests. However, since this law is only applicable to visible public places, cannabis cultivation has continued under veils.
Madrid and Catalonia continue to quarrel on the matter. Since there has also been an independence movement in action for the past full decade, Madrid tends to refuse every time it comes down to recognizing Catalonia’s receding rights.
The cry for independence has gone far beyond economic matters. It is about the distinct culture and language that Catalonia has. In fact, some people even claim that Catalonia may be more liberal as opposed to Madrid. It is clear that cannabis has become one of the major issues among many others in Spain. It may as well offer a final blow in letting Catalonia become independent.