Experiencing Spain One Puff at a Time
CANNABIS CULTURE - As I puffed on my joint and reviewed my plans for the twenty-four hour journey ahead, I realized my only concern was whether or not I would find some of that renowned Spanish cannabis once I got there.
Passing through a couple airports to change planes, I finally arrived in Malaga and quickly made use of the public transit system to arrive at my hostel. I cautiously asked the locals about the local cannabis laws and their own views on smoking pot. I was relieved to find that marijuana is widely used across the country and possession is only penalized with a €300 fine leaving no criminal record.
Once settled in my hostel, I set out to find some of that legendary Spanish herb. Having been encouraged by my previous conversations, my knowledge of Spanish made it easy to get to know the local Malagueños. Soon I was sharing joints with them on the terrace bar of the hostel.
I found out I was not the only one there to attend the “Expo Cannabis Sur,” one of many events such as Spannabis and Expo Cannabis Madrid put on by Cannabis Magazine in Spain. Some of these events have been running for over eight years, becoming a staple in the Spanish and international cannabis scenes.
Expo Cannabis Sur 2012 took place in the seventeen thousand square meter exposition floor of the Palacio de Ferias y Congresos of Malaga on May 18, 19, and 20. It gathering over seventy expositors and about nine thousand visitors during its three day run. The expo is one of the few places in the world where it is possible to find so many branches of the cannabis culture in one place while presenting a very comprehensive picture of the local scene.
In Spain cannabis has been used throughout the generations. Originally in the form of hashish from Morocco, recently cultivation for personal use has peaked in an effort to end trafficking. Associations of medical and ludic users continue to work for the normalization of cannabis across the country, coming to these expositions to inform the general public about the work they do.
The increasing number of users that choose to cultivate their own cannabis has set the conditions for new businesses to thrive. Among the most popular in the industry are grow shops, paraphernalia manufacturers, nutrient companies and seed banks. Both local and foriegn companies benefit by sharing inovations and finding new business ventures in this growing scene.
All of these aspects are combined with conferences that cover all topics from growing to the legality of the most common herb on earth. At the end of the exposition four prizes were given; Best Seed Bank was awarded to Ripper Seeds, Best Stand went to El Punto by Positronics, Best Paraphernalia was won by the Da Vinci vaporizer and Smart Pots was this year's Best Grow Product.
At the end of three days I found myself smoking the last of my Spanish cannabis and remembering all the people that I had the opportunity to meet. I realized with all it's sham, drudgery and broken dreams the world still turns and cannabis helps to fuel it's spin.