If you like to smoke a little spliff, roll a nice blunt or enjoy the occasional marijuana joint, the “cultural associations”, “cannabis clubs”, or “coffee shops” of Barcelona are your best bet while in this great city. The cannabis culture in Spain has developed quite extensively over the last two decades as the decriminalization of marijuana for personal use has taken place and current legal loopholes allow for certain situations for purchasing and smoking marijuana. Yet there are still some large legal considerations that you should be aware of before partaking in this relaxing activity. For example, you can enjoy it in the privacy of your beach apartment in Barcelona – find out how below.
Marijuana for personal use was decriminalized in Spain, although this does not mean that there is total free license to grow it, transport it or smoke it. You are allowed to grow marijuana in Barcelona, but you are limited to two plants per household (no limit on how high they can grow, however) – this makes Barcelona different from other countries, since it’s not a criminal offense to cultivate marijuana. However, all trafficking and selling activities of the controlled substance is strictly illegal in Barcelona and Spain in general. Also, smoking marijuana is considered a private and personal matter only to be conducted in the privacy of your own home. Anyone caught with marijuana in their possession or smoking marijuana in public is subject to administrative fines, criminal offenses and possibly jail time depending on the enforcement officer and the incident. Essentially, it’s best not to smoke marijuana in public, and do not transport more than 2 ounces of marijuana at any time. While transporting marijuana, keep it secure and hidden at all times.
Related article: Hash Marijuana Cañamo & Hemp Museum
What about the Coffee Shops?
If marijuana use is illegal except for personal and private use, then how can marijuana coffee shops be in booming business, you may be asking? There are loopholes in the Spanish legal system that allows residents to hold associations or clubs within their homes, therefore allowing private cannabis clubs to operate under the guise of private associations.
The cannabis clubs of Barcelona are much different than the coffee shops of Amsterdam in the fact that they are private and require membership and are legally not allowed to advertise publicly. This is why the cannabis culture of Spain is somewhat of an underground activity that most tourists or foreigners are not aware of, although word is spreading. To become a member of these cannabis clubs you must be referred by a current member. With over 300 clubs active in Barcelona it can be very easy to gain access.
Just be wary of street vendors of marijuana and those handing out flyers to these private clubs on the street. These activities are illegal and may be of dubious quality. The private shops come in a variety of sizes, quality, themes and target different demographics. They can be dingy or extravagant and can offer a single inferior quality product or a wide range of high-quality products. Connect with social bloggers and Facebook pages to find out which cannabis club could serve your needs.
Have you been to any of these cannabis clubs in Barcelona? Tell us about your experiences.