NAVARRA has become the first region in Spain to legalise cannabis consumption, putting the land-locked northern region on a par with the Dutch capital, Amsterdam.
'Cannabis clubs', where members can consume the drug without penalty of any description – provided those members were already regular users before joining – are now fully-regulated by the Navarran regional government.
“One of the substances most commonly consumed in Navarra is cannabis, both as a recreational drug and for its pain-relieving effects for certain illnesses,” says regional president Yolanda Barcina.
“Consumption of cannabis no longer constitutes a criminal or civil offence provided it is within the limits imposed by the new regional law or its interpretation by a judge – limits which apply to both shared and individual consumption, and supply for personal use.”
'Hash clubs' will be granted the status of non-profit-making associations, and will be required to 'ensure members consume a substance as organic and unadulterated as possible', which must 'undergo the established health checks' – although the regional law does not state how and where 'hash clubs' are allowed to source cannabis smoked on their premises.
Members are not permitted to exceed limits set by the associations, which is calculated according to 'risk-prevention measures' and 'international standards'.
Club organisers are required to offer training in preventing risk linked to marijuana use, minimise damage caused by consumption, monitor and control substances and quantities consumed, proactively give information to members about responsible use, and work actively towards reducing the 'illegal cannabis market', or drug peddlers.
Given that dealing is still against the law, it is unclear whether a fee can be charged and to what extent it would be policed to ensure no profit was made.