Spain’s Legal Wars Over Cannabis II

Thanks to federations in Spain, FAC and FEDCAC, political parties are more open for dialog to find a common ground. They agreed on creating a commission to start reviewing the regulation, which is considered as a lot to start with. However Albert Tió the president of FEDCAC (Federation of Cannabis Clubs in Catalonia) is a little prudent. ‘’We had positive reaction in personal contact with the politicians. But we also know that the proposal will be restrictive. That’s why we are waiting to be invited and make the law less restrictive’’ he said.

FEDCAC has been in collaboration with FAC which operates within the boundaries of Spain while FEDCAC only operates for Catalonia. Despite fighting for mutual  purpose, FAC is in favor of a limited number of members in an association and only local people to become a member. ’’They think that way it will speed up the regulation process but we as FEDCAC don’t mind bigger associations. Since it is every adult person’s right, we can not reject them’’ Albert said.

On the other hand, both presidents of the federations have an ongoing legal case in which they are facing prison and fines with astronomical numbers. But lucky for Albert, his club ‘AİRAM’ and ‘LA MARIA’  are still functioning in the Gothic Area of Barcelona with all kinds of services from  cannabis cultivation, massage, medical consultants, to food and drink, dj music, cinema club, concerts, theatre, jam sessions, workshops in 8 language, and yoga & pilates classes.

The lounge is  full of members mellowing out with music. The receptionist frequently welcomes new visitors and has her hands full. But not all the visitors are always the members. ‘’Police often come. Very often.  They seize when they see the cannabis. This is not helpful. It only pushes people to the black market” he said.

Government’s ongoing battle against drugs aims more toward the people who try to make money off it. But what if the police raid AIRAM or LA MARIA and take away the members along with the weed? Or can they?

Albert’s answer is no to that.  Police don’t have the right to detain the members or even touch them.  Unless the members are physically in public and there is some amount of cannabis in their pocket. “Police especially wait outside of the club where they legally have the right fine people for the fact that they carry cannabis in public area.” he added.

This silly practice sounds just as off-putting as labelling someone as a potential criminal, just because they have tattoo, without considering other factors. Or maybe we haven’t reached the high knowledge and the ability of police units to detect potential drug dealers before they commit their crimes just like in Minority Report.  But we know for sure that  now the government wants to raise the fine for those who are seen with cannabis in public space.

It is a little dark comedy for sure. Like Italian politician Giusto Catania puts “How is it possible in a country that the use is decriminalized, associations can be legally created but adults’ right to personal use is not allowed?”  Albert too can not help but disagree with this statement. “Well, funny but this is the source of all the problems at this moment. We ask the same question; How it is actually possible?”  he added.

In spite of everything, Albert feels proud. He wants nothing but to end what they were all paired with for ‘We made a big step for the rights of consumers, expanded our national and international support.  Now all I want is to see the end of the movie. Hope it is a good one’ he said. The commission is discussing the law. Albert is eagerly waiting to be called for dialog to find a solution to this social alarm. We hope both of the federations’ methodical, peaceful, organized approach to policy management pays dividends for those who want to enjoy the atmosphere, lifestyle, and security of all the cannabis social clubs.

Source: www.encod.org/

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