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New Government in Spain: An Opportunity for Cannabis Legalization?
Author: Martín Barriuso  10/08/2018 - 09:30:00

On June 1, Pedro Sanchez became Spain’s first president to be elected through a no-confidence motion. A few days after the Popular Party was condemned for corruption, the socialist candidate won the support of an unlikely confluence of theoretically incompatible groups. Will this unexpected change serve to unblock the debate on the regulation of cannabis?

For years, a long list of corruption cases has been gradually damaging the image of the Popular Party (PP), an organization which until recently drew together almost all the conservative electorate in

The OECCC proposal text, stamped by the parties who received it.

The observatory signed last February a

Just three weeks after Sanchez was sworn in as president, Podemos secretary general, Pablo Iglesias, praisedCanada’s decision to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes and suggested that Spain should  become “reference” when exporting cannabis to other countries.

Podemos is the main exponent, along with Ciudadanos, of the so-called “new parties”, forces born of the erosion of the bipartisan model that has taken hold in Spain since the democratic elections were recovered in 1977.

In the last elections, Podemos formed a coalition with Izquierda Unida (IU), a political force that for years has clearly committed to ending cannabis prohibition. Nonetheless, given the fact that Podemos (which for long has kept a rather moderate posture concerning this issue) has more influence than the IU, the coalition’s position in regards to cannabis has thus been ambiguous.

But this time Podemos spokesperson decided to go much further, a move that can be interpreted as a bet to put the subject once and for all on his party’s agenda. Iglesias said “enough of hypocrisy”, pointing at the fact that “buying gin, rum, tequila, or vodka” at the supermarket “is legal”, while “buying marihuana is not”.

He also believes that one of the advantages of regulating cannabis would be “not having to dedicate police expenses to the pursuit of illegal trafficking, which is what generates crime and exploitation”.

Iglesias’ statements provoked numerous reactions. Among them, of course, there were enthusiastic supporters, outright rejections and some satires, going through the supposed experts repeating the usual topics about the dangers of cannabis.

However, it is worth noting the large coverage that the media gave to the proposal, without implying that they agreed with it. Proposing the legalization of cannabis is no longer perceived as a whimsical and simple idea, more and more social and political sectors believe that the legislation is outdated, and that Spain is in danger of being left out of a movement of change to which it has inadvertently contributed, and that different alternatives ought to be discussed.

Unidos Podemos is aware of this, and it is possible that they include the subject  as part of a long list they want Pedro Sanchez to address in exchange for the support the left is giving to him.

Broken Consensus – How Spain Regionally Handles Cannabis

A socialist government is no novelty in the recent history of Spain. Of the forty years since the democratic constitution was approved, half have been under such governments. These never departed from international orthodoxy and were part of the de facto consensus that has blocked any significant change in national drug policies.

This has not always been the case at the municipal and regional levels, where the PSOE has supported very interesting experiments, such as heroin dispensing programs or regulations on cannabis clubs, but the central apparatus of the PSOE has prevented time and again that those advances become part of national policy. Therefore, the fact that Sanchez rules does not guarantee that there will be any change.

However, the truth is that the prohibitionist consensus that had been maintained since the Transition is breaking down. More and more voices are talking about the need for change, especially in the case of cannabis. Emerging parties such as Podemos and Ciudadanos are not for maintaining a repressive consensus, which they know is disliked by a significant part of the voters, especially the youngest ones.

In this context, it is very significant that the OECCC has managed that all parliamentary groups get and become aware of their proposal to create a presentation, despite the short notice with which they requested the meetings and that this happened during the week in which the PP government would end up falling.

Something like that was unthinkable until recently. It is a sign that cannabis is increasingly present in the political agenda, that parties are aware that the legislation is outdated and, above all, that it is rejected by the majority of the population, a trend that is expected to increase in the future. The time to change has come and they know it.

Given how precarious the support of the new government is, it does not seem likely that what remains of this legislature will be enough for any important change in cannabis policy to take place. However, if the study that so many people ask for is carried out, the elaboration of new regulation would move forward and could be approved immediately after the 2020 elections.

The post New Government in Spain: An Opportunity for Cannabis Legalization? appeared first on Sensi Seeds Blog.

Original article from sensiseeds.com: New Government in Spain: An Opportunity for Cannabis Legalization?

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