The reform of Cannabis policy has a widespread support in Spain. According to data released today, approximately two-thirds of the population are favorable to the regulation of Cannabis, while only a third oppose it.
Today the institute Electomania published the preliminary release of data from a survey conducted in all Spanish territories. The survey reveals that support is generalized in all the regions and age groups, without appreciable differences, contrary to what surveys usually reflect concerning most of the political issues where geographical disparities are important. About 68% of the panel representing general population were favorable to the regulation of Cannabis, an important rise compared to the last available data from 2014, where only 52,1% of Spanish were in favor of regulating Cannabis markets.
The tipping point of discrepancies is in the ideological orientation of those consulted: the only voters strongly opposed are those from the far right parties (VOX and Popular Party), while all the others political tendencies (from center-right “Ciudadanos” to “Socialist Party”, “Podemos” or the far left) mostly agree with the measure.
The survey also reveals that about 57% of Spanish have tried Cannabis at some time during their life, and 29% consumed regularly or occasionally.
Again, the only appreciable variation is the ideological one, although interestingly, even among the right-wing voters almost half of the population has used Cannabis at least once in their lifetime.
These new data arrive after an important civil society forum took place last week in the Spanish Congress. All representative of Civil society were invited, and debates included a comprehensive participation from all sort of stakeholders. The Parliamentary forum showcased a wide array of proposals and ways forward for Spanish Cannabis policy reforms.
The event was organized by the left-party Unidos-Podemos, motivated by a recent declaration of Drug Policy Alliance’s leader Michael Collins who declared that “the debate is not whether it will be legalized, but when and how. Spain could be a leader in Europe if it does”, reassuring Unidos-Podemos in their plan to present early 2019 a bill and gather support from the Prime minister in office (from the Socialists party), the center-right wing “Ciudadanos” and other minor local parties.
The approach to Cannabis regulation advocated by these leading congressmen fully matches with the aspirations of non-state actors, but also importantly targets a sustainable development approach to Cannabis regulation. The philosophy of the bill proposal will indeed build over the wide network of local non-profit self-suppli Cannabis users groups (the Cannabis Social Clubs), and will be aimed to “stop big businesses from creating monopolies and oligopolies and promote a dynamic economy that leads to social wealth” as Pablo Iglesias, leader of the party, told the press.
This fully answers the call from the hundreds of Cannabis social clubs represented by the ConFAC federation, who declared in a press release: “Let’s focus on the users and on the empowerment of civil society to create a regulatory model based on the defense of rights and the construction of new ones, the universalization of citizenship, the experimentation of patterns of economic relations & productive models that are new, and on social innovation.”
Values that are highly relevant to Sustainable Development, and the Global Goals of the United Nations, in particular Goal 1 on “ending poverty”, Goals 5 and 10 on “reducing inequalities”, Goal 8 on “decent work and economic growth”, Goal 11 on “sustainable cities”, Goal 13 on “responsible consumption and production” and Goal 16 on “peace and justice”.
The International Cannabis Policy Conference will address these issues, in particular during the Saturday afternoon panel “Cannabis revolution from a socio-economic perspective. Lessons learned and future challenges of the global Cannabis markets. Crossed voices on regulated Cannabis and hemp markets, and the ethics of legalization (fair trade, minorities, developing countries…)“. Patricia Amiguet from ConFAC, a speaker during the Congress forum, will also be on stage in Vienna to discuss the pros and cons of the Cannabis social club model. Check out the full program of the International Cannabis Policy Conference.
References & Sources:
- Survey 2018 ELECTOMANIA: electomania.es/adelanto-colaboradores-datapanel-los-espaoles-favorables-a-la-legalizacin-de-la-venta-y-consumo-del-cannabis/
- Survey 2014 FAD: fad.es/sites/default/files/percepII.pdf
- Post El País in English about the Congress forum: https://elpais.com/elpais/2018/10/18/inenglish/1539863917_686561.html
- Post cannabis.es about the Congress audience: cannabis.es/web/features/articulos/815-hacia-una-regulacion-integral-del-cannabis-jornada-en-el-congreso-de-los-diputados
- ConFAC press release: arafac.com/fac/regulacion-integral.pdf
- What are the Sustainable Development Goals? conference.faaat.net/blog/what-are-the-sdgs
- Linking Cannabis Policy to the SDGs: conference.faaat.net/blog/linking-cannabis-policy-to-sdgs