The parliament of Spain's Basque Country Autonomous Community will approve a new drug law early next year that will regulate marijuana cultivation, distribution, and consumption, EFE reported Tuesday.
"It's better to regulate than to ban," said Jesus Maria Fernandez, second in command at the region's health authority. Regulating "the growing, sale, and consumption of cannabis" is a better approach to pot smoking, he said, calling it "a practice that is already consolidated."
Regional health authority head Rafael Bengoa echoed his subordinate's words. "We do not want to be prohibitionists," he said. Bengoa added that "technical and legal studies have been undertaken" and that the regional government wants to "open a debate" with groups representing marijuana users to help "shape their rights."
The pending bill also includes measures for prevention and treatment not only of drug addiction, but also addictions to gambling and new technologies.