• Spain's news in English

One in two Spaniards want legal marijuana

The Local · 11 Dec 2014, 13:32

Published: 11 Dec 2014 13:32 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A total of 52 percent of Spaniards are in favour of legalizing the sale and private consumption of cannabis, a new study by Spain’s Foundation for Help Against Drug Addiction (Fad) shows.

While the buying or selling of cannabis is a criminal offence in Spain, growing it on private property for private consumption is legal.

Spain’s already relatively lax cannabis laws have seen a wave of 'cannabis clubs' open their doors around the country, with Barcelona being a particular hot spot, christened the 'new Amsterdam' by some.

Around 28 percent of Spaniards believe these clubs are a positive initiative which promotes the controlled use of cannabis, according to the Fad study. A further 22 percent said such clubs "don’t bother" them while 8 percent said they were a "legal joke".

Spain’s increasingly permissive attitude towards marijuana is in contrast, however, to a generally tougher stance on drugs.

Some 72.9 percent of people said police and border controls needed to be beefed up to fight drug crime, a long way up from the 43.5 percent rate seen in 2004.

The percentage of people who want stricter drug laws has also climbed from 48.1 percent to 70.3 percent.

The Fad report also shows Spaniards are less accepting of the use of legal drugs. Thirty percent of people polled said there should be tougher controls on the buying of alcohol while 61 percent said they were in favour of the country’s new tobacco laws which prohibits smoking in public places including restaurants and bars

A further 15 percent would like to see the country’s anti-tobacco laws toughened up.

“For a long time, drugs in Spain were demonized, and the attitude was that only bad people took them,” Fad director Ignacio Calderón told The Local.

Story continues below…

“Alcohol and tobacco were products your friends and family used and therefore they weren't 'drugs' and weren't harmful. That has changed now though, especially as people have started to realize that other people’s alcohol abuse affects them, or that passive smoking is a general threat.”

Calderón isn't in favour of tougher laws, saying education is the best way to attack drug addiction, but concedes this is a medium to term solution and that laws can provide for more rapid changes in society.

The Fad study was based on around 1,500 people aged 15 to 65.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Clock ticking as Spain races to avoid third elections
Third elections could now be avoided. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists voted on Sunday to allow the conservatives to take power, likely averting a third election for Spaniards tired of going to the polls.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available