You might have come across a viral tweet that claims that “Spain legalized weed and starting 32 hour work weeks”. Screenshots of the post have been shared on other platforms such as TikTok, where users said they wanted to move to Spain, but don’t start packing quite yet: it’s a hoax. The country has not legalized cannabis nor has it established 32-hour working weeks, although the Government is reportedly designing a pilot program to test the latter.
Article 368 of the Spanish Penal Code says that people who carry out “acts of cultivation, manufacturing, trafficking or who in any other way promote, favour or ease the illegal consumption of toxic drugs, narcotics or psychotropic substances, or possess them with such purposes” will be “punished”. Maldita.es also found that no new legislation regarding cannabis has been published in the Official State Gazette (BOE).
According to the official website of the Health Ministry’s National Plan on Drugs, “the mere possession of drugs does not by itself constitute an offence as long as it’s not used for illegal drug trafficking”. However, the Ministry says that “cultivating, manufacturing and illegally trafficking toxic drugs, narcotics and psychotropic substances, illegally possessing for these purposes, as well as the activities that promote, favour or ease its illegal consumption” are all criminal offences. The website also details the sentences that can be applied when committing a cannabis-related crime.
In response to a parliamentary question from the Popular Party regarding the “forecasts about taking legislative steps towards the legalization of medicinal, therapeutic and recreational cannabis”, the Spanish Government said that "the international conventions that Spain has signed include cannabis in List I of the Single Convention of Narcotic Drugs, 1961.
In its written response, the Government also stated that the European Union accepted a recommendation from a World Health Organization (WHO) expert committee to eliminate "cannabis and cannabis resin from List IV of the 1961 Single Convention of Narcotic Drugs” in order to “favour the investigation, in line with a data-driven drug policy, on potential beneficial uses of cannabis and cannabis resin”.
That doesn’t mean that cannabis has been legalized in Spain or in the European Union. In fact, the Spanish Government insisted in its parliamentary response that cannabis is still in List I of the 1961 convention.
Four-day or 32-hour working weeks have not been approved in Spain: it’s a pilot program
The viral tweet also claims that Spain has established a 32-hour working week, but that’s not the case as of March 23, 2021. Más País, a political party that entered the Spanish Parliament after the November 2019 general election, proposed in its manifesto that working weeks should be “gradually reduced” to 32 weekly hours or 4 days “within the next decade”. That reduction should not imply a salary cut, the party said.
Spanish outlets such as RTVE, El Confidencial or ABC reported that the Government had agreed to launch a pilot program to test 32-hour working weeks in 200 companies and that it would be supported with EU funds. According to Más País leader Íñigo Errejón, their proposal aims to “improve work conditions and productivity”.
However, 32-hour working weeks have not been approved nationwide in Spain as of March 23, 2021. In fact, the Work and Social Economy Ministry’s website specifies that “the maximum duration of an ordinary working day will be of 40 hours per week”.