Article by Chris Baynes, The Independent
The cultivation, consumption and distribution of cannabis will be permitted for members of designated clubs after the region’s parliament voted to regulate them.
It follows a campaign which gathered 67,500 petition signatures, forcing a government debate.
Cannabis clubs previously existed in a state of legal limbo in Catalonia after emerging in response to strict fines issued by the national government to users caught taking the drug in public.
Some 118 of Catalonia’s 127 ministers voted in favour of regulating the clubs, with broad cross-party support for the move.
Clubs must be self-sufficient non-profit associations that only distribute cannabis to members aged over 18. They will be limited to producing 150kg of the dried drug a year and subject to rules designed to stop drug tourism.
In 2014, officials in the Catalan capital Barcelona attempted to curb the boom in cannabis use over fears the city was growing to rival Amsterdam as a marijuana haven. Under the new legal framework, members will not be able to acquire cannabis for 15 days after joining a club.