Thanks to federations in Spain, Federation of Cannabis Associations (FAC) and the Federation of Cannabis Clubs in Catalonia (FEDCAC); political parties are more open for dialog to find a common ground on national cannabis policy. They agreed on creating a commission to start reviewing the regulations, which is considered as a lot to start with.
However, Albert Tió, the president of FEDCAC is a little prudent. ‘’We had positive reaction in personal contact with the politicians. But we also know that the proposal will be restrictive. That’s why we are waiting to be invited and make the law less restrictive’’ he said.
FEDCAC has been in collaboration with FAC, which operates within the boundaries of the entire country while FEDCAC only operates for Catalonia. Despite fighting for mutual benefit, FAC is in favor of a limited number of members in an association and restricting membership to locals.
“They think that way it will speed up the regulation process, but we as FEDCAC don’t mind bigger associations. Since it is every adult person’s right, we cannot reject them,’’ Tió said.
On the other hand, both presidents of the federations have ongoing legal cases in which they are facing long prison terms and hefty fines. But luckily for Tió, his club ‘AİRAM’ and ‘LA MARIA’ are still functioning in the Gothic Area of Barcelona and offer a variety of services from teaching cannabis cultivation, massage and medical consultation, to food and drink, music, cinema club, concerts, theatre, jam sessions, workshops in eight languages and yoga and Pilates classes.
The lounge is full of members mellowing out with music. The receptionist frequently welcomes new visitors and has her hands full. But not all the visitors are always the members.
‘’Police come very often. When they see it, they seize cannabis. This is not helpful, it only pushes people to the black market,” Tió said.
The government’s ongoing battle against drugs is aimed at those who profit from cannabis. But what if the police raid AIRAM or LA MARIA and arrest the members and take the cannabis? Or can they?
Tió’s answer, no.
Police don’t have the right to detain members or even touch them unless the members are in public and there is some amount of cannabis in their pocket. “Police especially wait outside of the club where they legally have the right fine people for the fact that they carry cannabis in public area,” he added.
It is a little dark comedy for sure. As Italian politician Giusto Catania puts it, “How is it possible in a country that the use is decriminalized and associations can be legally created but adults’ right to personal use is not allowed?”
Tió too cannot help but disagree with this statement. “Well, funny but this is the source of all the problems at this moment. We ask the same question; How is it actually possible?”
In spite of everything, Tió is proud.
“We took a big step for the rights of consumers, expanded our national and international support. Now all I want is to see the end of the movie. Hope it is a good one,” he said.