By Anthony Martinelli

Lawmakers in Catalonia, an autonomous region of Spain, have voted to legalize marijuana clubs.

With a vote of 118 to 9, Catalonia lawmakers have passed legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana clubs. These clubs will be self-reliant, non-profit organizations that are allowed to grow and distribute cannabis to those 18 and older. They will be limited to producing 150kg (roughly 331 pounds) of dried cannabis each year.

The approval of the new law comes after over 67,000 people signed a petition calling for the legalization of marijuana – the high number of signatures forced a government debate on the issue, a debate that lawmakers were clearly ready to have.

Alba Verges, chair of the parliamentary health commission, told Huffington Post Spain: “The law we will approve is very advanced and gives a very clear message. It’s time for a paradigm shift when it comes to legislating drugs.”

As noted by the Independent; “Cannabis clubs previously existed in a state of legal limbo in Catalonia after emerging in response to strict fines issued by the national government to users caught taking the drug in public.”

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