Update for 2014: The proposed 'Citizen Security Law' (Ley de la Seguridad Ciuidana) might re-criminalize the use of cannabis. In the meantime, the advice on this page is still valid.
Disclaimer: The writer of this article accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of this page, particularly with the impending new law. My advice to visitors to any country to be extra careful with drug use and possession. There are plenty of excellent Drinks in Spain, so why not refrain from other drug use during your time in Spain?
Current Legal Situation of Cannabis in Spain
The legal situation of cannabis in Spain is a little more complicated than in other countries.
- It is illegal in Spain to traffic cannabis or to smoke it in public places.
- It is legal in Spain to cultivate or smoke cannabis for your own personal use (as long as it is in the privacy of your own home).
Note that, as anywhere in the world, the interpretation of 'personal use' is open to debate. If a policeman takes a disliking to a group of noisy foreigners, he might use any drugs found on you as an excuse to cause you problems. I would therefore advise against consuming cannabis in Spain.
Having said that, cannabis is often sold openly in the streets, especially in Barcelona and Granada. I have also seen people smoking cannabis outside bars without anyone raising an eyebrow.
Note that Spain's cannabis laws are more relaxed than those of France and Gibraltar, so do not try to carry the drug across the border. In Portugal, the use of cannabis (and all drugs) is decriminalized, but not legal.