After a year of delay the Spanish Congress accelerates the legalization of cannabis as medicine
The subcommittee to analyze the experiences of regulating cannabis for medical use began on Wednesday, February 16, with the objective of being able to legalize the smoking of this product for therapeutic purposes.
The organ, depending on the Health Commission of the Congress of Deputies wants to be the accelerator to legalize the consumption of a product that, according to its defenders, has 300000 potential patients in Spain alone and an expanding market outside and inside our borders.
The Basque nationalist party (PNV) had to wait more than a year and three months for this subcommittee is formed, although it obtained the approval, in spite of some nuances of some, of all the parliamentary groups, with the exception of vox.
It is expected that this commission will issue its conclusions before next summer and that if all goes as planned and it is possible to have a document on which to draw up a law regulating the use of medical cannabis for the end of the year.
The use of cannabis for medical reasons is increasingly widespread in Europe, although in Spain its consumption is still therapeutically illegal, according to the latest European Cannabis Report, Spain is one of the countries that consume the most cannabis derivatives such as CBD, which is legal for it.
Congress and deputies are aware that the consumption of this type of product and that other countries are moving towards legalization. The Prohibition Partners estimates that 60000 patients were able to obtain medical cannabis in Europe for the first time in 2020, bringing the estimated total number of potential patients to around 185000.
On Wednesday, a work plan was drawn up and 30 people were interviewed. In five or six sessions, the Congress wants to analyze the reports of cannabis regulatory experiments in other countries. The Congress also wants to include patients and industry in the development of the final document.
On the side of the PNV, we are delighted that this sub-commission has finally been able to create a working group. "The goal is above all to open a serene debate on the medical use of cannabis and to approach the subject in a serious and rigorous manner" they insisted.
The sources of the PNV party consulted by our journalists call for "collaboration of all the parliamentary parties to work in transparency, without preconceptions, reflections based on dialogue and listening by putting individuals at the heart of the debate, to finally get out of this paralysis.
Although this initiative has been presented with fervor by the PNV, the various parties of the Spanish left would be the first to register a law concerning the complete legalization of cannabis and in fact the groups are also committed to “recreational” cannabis.
From now on, it is no longer useful to position oneself “for” or “against” but to study the possibilities of legislating. The time to be “for or” against is over, insist the associations defending cannabis.
The People's Party, which voted against the holding of this sub-commission, will still participate in the meetings, but with a very specific idea. A clear will to want to obtain strong requirements to meet the requirements in the same way as all other drugs.
On Wednesday, all the groups, as well as pharmaceutical representatives presented their speakers to give their point of view. Only the deputies of Vox still remain to be convinced.
Its possible legalization for medicinal use opens the door to expanding the planting and sale of this type of product in Spain.
According to sources from the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (Aemps), eight Spanish companies have licenses to produce or manufacture cannabis and products for medical and scientific purposes. In addition, 12 other companies have licenses for research purposes.
The licenses granted by Aemps are the most varied. From the authorizations to cultivate plants for the extraction of cannabis for the manufacture of narcotics, to the import and export of the plant itself. Research licenses are generally linked to clinical trials.
It should be remembered that the consumption of cannabis is legal in private and regulated places. This is a unique model, these "clubs" offer the possibility of growing cannabis or delegating its cultivation to other members of the club and consuming your cannabis on site or bringing back a small amount. at home.
A study conducted by the University of Leicester in 2020 revealed that cannabis social clubs are in operation in most European countries. If in many of them their presence is combined with legal consumption for medical purposes, in Spain this form of access is the only one.
A report by the Confederation of Federations of Cannabis Associations indicates that in our country alone there are 1 clubs of this type, "the majority operating in Barcelona".
All of these clubs in Spain face the same problem as in cities like Copenhagen and Berlin where the locality allows it to be implemented, but the national law puts obstacles in the way.
In Spain, in November 2020, the supreme court ruled that the Barcelona city council had no right to regulate social clubs of this type, questioning the legality of such organizations. The judgment highlighted the fact that cannabis social clubs represent a “short-term solution” to a persistent problem created “by prohibition. The possible legalization of therapeutic cannabis opens up prospects for expanding the production and sale of this type of product for Spain.
Legal insecurity is also the daily life of the only cannabis derivative that is legal in our country: CBD. Cannabidiol (CBD) It is a non-psychoactive compound of marijuana with a percentage of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive principle of the plant) of 0,2%, which makes it a legal drug.
In November 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that a country cannot prohibit the import and marketing of CBD extracted from the whole cannabis plant from another country in the Union. European Union, opening the possibility of trade and import of this product.
Furthermore, and in the same judgment, the CJEU declared that CBD does not have psychotropic effects and is not dangerous for human health, therefore it cannot be considered a narcotic. Following this judgment, the European Commission indicated three weeks later that the cannabinoid CBD is not considered a narcotic and that it can be marketed as food in the European Union.