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Barcelona cannabis clubs face closure in new legal setback

Barcelona has about 200 cannabis clubs. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Police and city authorities agree that ‘pioneering’ model has reduced street dealing and consumption

Barcelona’s 200 cannabis clubs face closure after the supreme court shut a legal loophole that has seen the city become Spain’s marijuana capital.

It is the latest in a series of setbacks for the asociaciónes, as they are popularly known. In 2017, the court overruled a law passed by the Catalan parliament which said “private consumption of cannabis by adults … is part of the exercise of the fundamental right to free personal development and freedom of conscience”.

Since then the clubs have operated under a Barcelona city bylaw that regulated their use, but this too has now been overturned, with the judges ruling that the city authorities were not competent to legislate on matters governed by the state.

“The majority of associations assume that sooner or later they will be forced to close down,” said Eric Asensio, spokesman for the Federation of Catalan Cannabis Associations. About 70% of Spain’s cannabis clubs are in Catalonia, the majority in Barcelona.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Stephen Burgen on The Guardian

Published: July 27, 2021

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