Skip to main content

Why Is Spain Sanctioning People For Cannabis Use?

Spain flag Spain flag Spain flag Spain flag

Spain may not have the highest usage rate when it comes to cannabis on the European continent, however, it does sanction more cannabis users compared to its European counterparts according to a new statistical analysis.

The statistics of the European Observatory collected data provided by various European countries in regards to cannabis sanctions. The data was not for trafficking or cultivating cannabis, only cannabis use.

Even though Spain ranks third among European countries for cannabis use rates, it is first in issuing sanctions to consumers, and second place isn’t close. Per Publico:

Spain is the country in Europe where the use of cannabis is sanctioned the most, and by far , despite the fact that it ranks third in consumption, according to data from the 2022 report of the European Drug Observatory. Such is the difference that in Spain 43% of administrative or criminal offenses have been imposed -depending on the country’s legislation- committed in Europe for consumption or possession of marijuana. And the Citizen Security Law, better known as the Gag Law, has a lot to do with it.

According to the article in Publico, the Czech Republic and France have the greatest cannabis consumption rates in Europe. Compared to the Czech Republic, Spain issues 62 times more sanctions for cannabis use. That’s not 62% – it’s 62 times as many.

Cannabis is easily accessible in Spain, either via a club or a local dealer, and that has been the case for quite a while now. With cannabis reform spreading across the European continent, Spain needs to get it in gear and get on the right side of history.

Malta became the first European nation to pass an adult-use legalization measure late last year, and Germany is trending towards legalization. Countries like Denmark and Switzerland already have adult-use pilot programs.

Spain would be wise to take its rightful spot as a continental cannabis industry leader by passing reform measures. Cannabis prohibition is a failed public policy, and that is true in Spain just as it is true everywhere else.