When you consider the global scope of cannabis and how the plant can seamlessly assimilate into International societies, two words come to mind: class and subtlety. In Spain–namely, Barcelona–those are the most apt words to describe their Cannabis Social Clubs and surprisingly innovative industry.
If American’s emerging marijuana culture has one major issue, it’s that, just maybe, our stoners take their love a weed a little bit too far.
We are in your face about it. We will drop 1 gram dabs, smoke 1 pound joints, and build bongs out of legos (or anything else we can get our hands on). We post these insane (and sometimes vulgar) images and sensationalized landscapes of the cannabis culture all over the Internet and Social Media without much regard for our own industry’s future.
To an extent, it’s all fair game: we are how and what we smoke, as they say. And we do smoke a lot–and in innovative ways–in the United States. But, at times, we’re prone to take things a tad too far, as we (sometimes) push the limits of legalization beyond where they need to be pushed. Embracing the culture is one thing–to caricature it is another, often senseless thing.
For every puff, there is a natural pull. And when we show weed being abused, it becomes unseemly, disturbing, and a little bit disgusting to the outsider and, in particular, the non-smoker. Like with alcohol (and any substance), the more you overtly display its negative effects (yes, even weed has them), the more haters will hate.
Which brings us to Barcelona, Spain, where Gil and the WeedmapsTV crew just spent over two weeks embedding themselves in the Mota.
While the Spanish culture certainly embraces their buds, it’s become clear that they do so in a far more discreet way. While I’ve never been in Spain, let alone a Cannabis Social Club, the two following videos showcase the Spanish way of weed.
The first video represents a tour through Barcelona’s Hemp Museum–and may be the first episode of WeedmapsTV that doesn’t include any inhalation of marijuana. While I’m sure an American museum like this exists (does it?) somewhere, the beauty of this museum is its historical and International scope. From 16th Century paintings of hash lounges to old Oils to, of all things, a NORML Texas license plate, this is a beautiful embodiment of cannabis culture:
Sure, the accent helps too. But there’s a sense of elevation present within the museum. You can sense the respect and courtesy they have for the Cannabis Sativa plant. There are no How High-like 30 foot bongs–it’s real history.
And then Gil visits the Choko Club, where two Spanish budtenders (motanders?) give him a tour. Again, it’s rather classy:
While the video doesn’t show the club in full action. these social clubs are what they sound like. They’re not bold festivals that turn into competitions on who can smoke more faster. They are simply casual venues (like in Amsterdam) where individuals can both purchase cannabis, smoke said cannabis, and relax with fellow cannabists.
In America’s defense, all we have is our festivals–we can’t smoke in dispensaries and BYOC clubs are not that enticing. The Spanish have a more free-flowing, loosely governed system.
But, just from watching these videos, you can tell it’s a more refined way of inhaling all that Mary Jane has to offer. While we should never take the fun out of our weed, sometimes, the entire scene is better toned down than turnt up.