The legal situation of cannabis in Spain is quite complicated
Before going ahead, I must say that, roughly speaking, Despite Spain’s lax attitude towards the use of marijuana, caution is recommended. And remember: the real situation about cannabis changes depending on the city or province where you are.
I am sixty years old and I have seen for decades how the legal situation of cannabis in Spain has been evolving continuously. Twenty years ago it was illegal, as it is now, but the reinforcement of the law was non existent. You could smoke a joint in the middle of the street or cultivate a plant at home without basically problems. However, some years ago the legal situation became controversial and many users began to get together in order to claim for their rights.
During some years Spain had a open mind with marijuana. Many users created clubs or associations where they could smoke and sell to the members weed without any problem. Many associations were working very well until the situation began to change. Today, the Ministry of Interior has declared these associations illegal and some members went to jail and the clubs were closed.
Curiously, the situation is not the same all over Spain. For example, in Catalonia the law is much more open and therefore clubs remain open. But in Madrid, Andalusia and Castile the law is becoming much harder.
Four years ago, a well known cannabis researcher was caught cultivating 154 autoflowering plants in a private garden. The Police didn’t find any evidence of sale. The dry amount of flowers weighted 11 Kg. This grower didn’t go to jail. He was given a fine that he couldn’t pay and the Court told him he had to be a “perfect” citizen for 14 months. In case he committed another crime he should spend 14 months in jail.
However, the same lawyer who defended this grower had to defend another guy who, in identical situation but being caught with only 1800 grams of dried flowers, has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail. What is going on? The situation is getting worst for most cases. Clubs members are being arrested and the simple fact of having a tiny piece of weed in your pocket means a 750 euros fine. Associations that were operating legally have been declared illegal and forced to close. We have seen on TV how the Police gave a fine to a homeless after checking him and finding just a little piece of hashis in his pocket.
The legal situation of cannabis in Spain has always been regulated by the article 368 of the Penal Code. This article prohibits everything related with growing cannabis. Even germinating a seed is illegal. But obviously, if you are caught germinating a seed the judge will send you home after a fine. But, unfortunately, it all depends on the judge who is in taking your process. All the lawyers know a judge named X whose daughter died of heroin overdose. This man hates everybody related to “drugs” and if you have the bad luck of being judging by him, you are done.
I personally must advice against openly consuming cannabis in Spain. However, cannabis is often sold openly in the streets, especially in Barcelona and Granada. I have also seen people smoking cannabis outside bars without anyone raising a single problem. The common people are further more liberal than law. Once said this, Spain’s cannabis laws are more relaxed than those of France and Gibraltar.
But, at the same time, you must know that the only place where smoking marihuana is legal is at home. And I say “smoking”; not cultivating.