After a vote of no-confidence for the People Party’s (PP) Mariano Rajoy, Pedro Sánchez of the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE) was sworn in as Spain’s Prime Minister this past June. Sánchez’s PSOE government has only 84 of the 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies (Spain’s lower house of Parliment) thus is dependent upon a governing coalition with other parties, including the populist Podemos party that has the third most seats with 67. Podemos’ leader Pablo Iglesias has recently called on Spain to legalize cannabis. Podemos is joined by a few parties that want to improve cannabis laws, but Podemos is leading the way with the most progressive proposal, as the Olive Press reported on Iglesias’ advocacy to end prohibition:
He said: “We wouldn’t have to spend money on security arrangements against illegal trafficking, which generates crime and exploitation.”
According to the blueprint for regulation, Spain could raise €177 million per year through cannabis taxes, plus a further €1.2 billion on indirect taxes.
The proposed measures have been largely welcomed by parties on both sides of the political spectrum, except for the PP.
Spain’s governing coalition is rather shaky with any ruling party needing a broad coalition to form a government. The political uncertainty has recently reared its head when the governing PSOE failed to pass a budget as some of its coalition parties, including Podemos, failed to support the financial plan. A new budget vote will be held again in a month. Maybe Prime Minister Sánchez should add cannabis legalization to his budget proposal, to bring in Podemos and generate much-needed revenue for the great nation of Spain.
The International Cannabis Business Conference will be heading to Barcelona, Spain, on March 19th to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, and advocates from around the world to learn, network, and continue the movement to legalize cannabis in Spain and across Europe. Before hopping across the pond, the next ICBC will be in Portland, Oregon, this September 27th-28th.