Plenty of residents and tourists smoke dope or consume cannabis in other ways on Lanzarote. The island has the reputation of having a fairly laidback attitude to this type of drug use, but strict laws do still apply, and it’s worth being aware of them.
At local fiestas or concerts you may get a whiff of a familiar pungent smell. Authorities generally turn a blind eye to this, but smoking or possessing cannabis in public is illegal in Spain, and technically you could be fined and have your stash confiscated. You’d also be very foolish to try it on private premises such as a bar terrace without the owner’s explicit permission.
Of course, it’s not hard to find cannabis on offer illegally. Hierba (weed) or hachis/chocolate (resin) are widely sold, along with other, more potent, drugs. But in all these cases, dealers are committing a crime, and purchasing is a misdemeanour. The quality and strength of the product is also a gamble.
There are two ways to consume cannabis legally in Spain:
You cannot be arrested for using cannabis on private premises, and it is also legal to grow marijuana for personal use at home (a limit of two plants is specified, and they must not be in view of the public). Tourists should be aware that holiday accommodation does not fall under this exception unless the owner gives permission (cannabis-friendly hotels and pensions exist in some parts of Spain).
These establishments permit the consumption of cannabis on the premises to members only.
Members pay a membership fee and do not buy the product, but usually pay “subs” which are based on an estimate of how much they are likely to consume in a month.
Once cannabis is taken off the premises, the law is being broken. Some clubs enforce this rule strictly, while others have been much more lax (and a number of clubs have been closed and fined for doing so).
One advantage of cannabis clubs is that owners usually know what they’re supplying – product is locally grown by aficionados.
Medical cannabis users are currently in the same boat as recreational users, although the Spanish government has pledged to regulate the law so that cannabis can be prescribed by medical specialists, and has promised that progress on this issue is “very advanced.”
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