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Basque government mulls partial cannabis legalization

Regional health chief says regulation of drug is better than prohibition

The Basque regional parliament is to propose an amendment to its Addiction Law to allow for the "cultivation, sale and consumption" of hashish and marijuana. The bill, which will be presented next year, was put forward on Monday by regional deputy health chief, Jesús María Fernández, during the presentation of the VI Addictions Plan 2011-2015.

Fernández stated that it is better to "regulate rather than prohibit behavior that is already established in our society."

The regional health chief, Rafael Bengoa, explained the proposal would be available to over-18s to consume cannabis in a "responsible" manner, with all necessary information about the consequences and with full respect for the health rights of other citizens. "We do not want to be prohibitionist," he added.