Saturday, December 4

The different faces of ‘Mary’ in 15 questions and answers

The cannabis regulation arrives this Tuesday at Congress. On September 28, Más País and ERC presented two initiatives to regularize the use of this substance in Spain, anticipating Podemos, which just a few days earlier had announced that it was finalizing the details of its proposal in this matter.

Thus, in recent weeks, these three political formations have registered bills with a regulatory environment for adults that eliminates legal uncertainty, reduces the illegal market that currently prevails and allows the underground economy that it generates to emerge, without encouraging consumption and warning of its risks.

With more than 3.2 million regular consumers, the debate on this old demand reopens strongly in our country and at ABC we bring you closer to the Keys not to get lost in the race for cannabis regularization:

What exactly is marijuana and what effects does it have on humans?

Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded parts of the marijuana plant. Plant contains chemicals that act and can alter the mood or consciousness of a person after consumption.

The effect caused by this substance depends on many factors and is different for each person. However, as indicated in the National Plan on Drugs, it is common that after consumption there is dry mouth, red eyes, tachycardia, uncoordinated movements, uncontrolled laughter, drowsiness, impaired memory, attention and concentration.

In the long term, marijuana can also affect brain development and cause these latter abilities to be permanently affected or the individual to have trouble remembering things during his adult life.

What is the difference between hemp, marijuana, or cannabis?

Marijuana and hemp are two varieties of the same plant: Cannabis sativa.

The main difference between these two varieties is that hemp is any strain that contains less than 0.3% THC, the main psychoactive compound in the plant, and any marijuana with more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, being able to include both Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, a related species. In addition, and while the first is used to make textiles or nutritional supplements, the second is used by psychoactive effects that causes.

Be careful because often the terms cannabis and marijuana are used interchangeably to talk about the latter.

How is marijuana used? Does it cause addiction?

The most frequent way of consuming marijuana is by introducing the loose and chopped leaves in cigarette paper, mixing them or not with tobacco, or smoking them with a pipe or water pipe, better known as ‘bong’.

Despite what many people think today, between 10% and 30% of users develop an addictive disorder that they cannot control.

How is it grown?

There are two ways to grow marijuana, indoors and outdoors.

In both cases, in the selected place the temperatures should never drop below 12ºC or exceed 30ºC, the plants must receive 6 to 8 hours of light up to date and be protected from inclement weather.

Greenhouses, being enclosures in which environmental conditions are maintained to favor cultivation, take advantage of natural sunlight and offer the guard of an indoor environment.

Is cannabis legal in Spain?

No. Despite its popularity, the Penal Code punishes as crimes the cultivation, manufacture, trafficking and illicit possession of this substance, as well as activities that promote or facilitate the consumption of toxic drugs, narcotics and psychotropic substances. In Spain, article 368 distinguishes between drugs that cause and that do not cause harm to health, and cannabis belongs to the latter.

However, the Penal Code does not consider consumption, possession and cultivation a crime, as long as it is for own consumption.

How much can I carry without it being a crime?

The Supreme Court uses a table prepared by the National Institute of Toxicology that establishes the average dose of consumption, taking into account that a consumer usually provides himself with a substance for five days and thus fixing on 100 grams legal possession for personal consumption.

What penalties and crimes do I face if that amount is exceeded?

Organic Law 4/2015 on the Protection of Citizen Security establishes administrative sanctions of a serious or very serious nature with fines of 601 to 30,000 euros.

Is it legal to buy seeds?

Yes, buying marijuana seeds is completely legal In our country. This product can be purchased at ‘Grow Shops’, specialized stores in which the buyer can get everything necessary for the care of his plant.

Is there a place where you can legally use cannabis?

Yes, in the cannabis associations, non-profit entities in which marijuana is consumed for therapeutic or recreational purposes among their partners.

These places, which need to be registered in the regional registry of associations to be legally constituted and must respect the basic rules established by the municipality in which they are located, they have legal protection, despite the fact that the cultivation and trafficking of marijuana that is consumed in their interior lives in an allegory manner.

The Supreme Court, for its part and with respect to this issue, has endorsed small associations, but has put a stop to all those that have hundreds of associates. The reason? Consider that they may be engaging in drug trafficking for financial gain.

Why has there been an increase in home or indoor cultivation?

The crisis has triggered the private cultivation of marijuana, not only for own consumption, but also as an alternative means of income. Police operations in homes or chalets have become commonplace in almost all of Spain.

In an article published by ABC in 2017, Rubén Jiménez Rodríguez, chief inspector of the National Police, revealed the huge benefits that the commission of this crime from inside doors can entail. “With a few plants at home you can get between 3,000 and 5,000 euros a month, although it is not a fixed business, it does not give money every month and requires a large economic investment, including heat lamps, extractors, fans …”.

The reality today, near the end of 2021, has worsened. This year, after the severe blow inflicted by the pandemic to the economy of many families, there are those who have seen in this ‘business’ a source of income or a help to make ends meet.

Where is the most marijuana grown in all of Spain?

At the top of Europe, only surpassed by Turkey, Italy and Germany, according to the European Report on Drugs and Drug Addiction, is Granada.

According to the 2017 European Report on Drugs, prepared by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, in the Andalusian city cannabis is produced mainly for local consumption, a scenario that has worsened with the proliferation of indoor plantations that supply marijuana to other countries.

What are the medicinal effects of cannabis?

The medicinal effects of cannabis, according to Medline Plus on its website, are:

1. Relieve chronic pain or derived from nerve injuries.

2. Control nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy.

3. Make a person feel like eating, something that helps those who do not eat enough or are losing weight due to other diseases such as VID / AIDS.

What diseases are currently treated with marijuana?

As explained by the Mayo Clinic, the diseases that are currently treated with marijuana are: Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), HIV / AIDS, Cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy and seizures, and glaucoma.

They are not the only ones. Multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, severe pain, and severe nausea are other ailments that can be treated with this substance.

Prescription drugs made from marijuana compounds

Prescription drugs based on marijuana compounds include: Dronabinol (Marinol), a medicine that treats nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and loss of appetite in people with HIV / AIDS, and Nabilona (Cesamet), which is also used to calm nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.

These products, along with others dedicated to medicinal use, have become a flourishing business inside and outside our borders. In Soria, for example, the town of Garray decided this April to change the cultivation of roses for that of medicinal cannabis and they already have a license from the Spanish Medicines Agency to cultivate three hectares of this plant.

Does it have side effects?

Some of the side effects detected are some of a mild nature, mainly Gastrointestinal disorders like diarrhea. It should also be taken into account that there may be other effects derived from the interaction between drugs.

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