It’s not unusual for our Spanish neighbours to hang plastic bags filled with seasonal fruit and vegetables on the door of our house.
Most villagers grow their own in the campo (countryside) or on allotments down by the rambla (dried up river bed). There is often an abundance and they are only to happy to share their produce with each other and with us.
There have been some fruits and vegetables that we did not recognise and our neighbours have always been willing to give ideas on cooking, drying, bottling etc.
Yesterday, much to my surprise, a neighbour arrived at my door with a bunch of daisys and a bag of dried green ‘grass’.
Now, whilst it is illegal in Spain to traffic cannabis, it is legal to cultivate it for your own personal use. So, imagine my shock when I looked in the bag to find a ‘grassy’ substance!!
To my relief, he went on to explain that the daisys were actually manzanilla (camomile) and the bag was full of dried camomile ready to make tea. Phew!!!
He showed me how to dry the flowers on the terrace, then cut the heads and stalks off, crush whats left and bag it ready for use. We also made tea from the ready made manzanilla he had brought with him.
Aparently it’s good for allsorts of stomach complaints including stomach upsets, indigestion etc.
Whilst I prefer to stick with Camomile, I thought it would be interesting to find out the legal status of cannabis in Spain. Go to:
Consumption and possession
Use of drugs in a private place is allowed. Possession or use of drugs in a public place (in the street, in a bus, in your own car if it is in the street, in a bar, etc.) is not a crime, but it is a violation of the law: fines are 300 euros minimum. Having said that, cannabis is often sold openly in the streets, especially in Barcelona and Granada without anyone raising an eyebrow.
Cultivation for your own use (for recreational or medicinal or another purpose) is allowed. If the judge thinks that this cultivation is not for own use, it will be a crime (punishable from 1 to 3 years).
Another website explains the situation in the Basque region.
Following news that Switzerland will permit its residents to grow 4 cannabis plants for personal consumption from January 1st 2012, The Basque Parliamant in Spain has followed suit. A new law bill will officially regulate the cultivation, sale and consumption of cannabis in the Basque region from 2012.
The Basque Region of Spain will regulate cannabis markets in 2012. Furthermore the Basque regions natonal health authority has denounced cannabis prohibition. The leading health official in the region is Rafael Bengoa, who said “”We do not want to be prohibitionists”.
The Basque actions on cannabis are sure to fly in the face of America’s ‘absolutely no cannabis is good cannabis’ policy and once upon a time would have lead to sanctions being placed upon Spain.
Today however cannabis is so much a part of European life no one takes much notice of how it stands legally anymore.