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Spain Town Considers Farming Pot To Create Jobs

By makin, Mar 1, 2012 | Updated: Mar 1, 2012 | | |
  1. makin
    With unemployment rates approaching 23 percent, according to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, Spain has unquestionably fallen on tough economic times. However, the resourceful people of one town in Tarragona, in the Iberian country's northeast, have come up with a solution:

    Farming pot.

    Rasquera, a town of with a municipal debt of 1.3 million euros, is exploring the idea of growing marijuana on government land to bring in revenue and create jobs, Spanish news agency EFE reports. A nonprofit group, called the Barcelona Association of Cannabis Self-Medication (ABCDA), has offered to pay the town hall 36,000 euros to get the project off the ground, with an annual investment of 550,000 euros for costs that would include land rental and security, according to Basque Radio Television.

    The nonprofit ABCDA has around 5,000 members, according to EFE, and would lease the land to work toward its goals of therapy and relaxation.

    "Cannabis for self-medication is legal," an ABCDA member told El Periodico, translated by HuffPost. "We're talking about staying within the law."

    But not everyone agrees with the assessment.

    Eduardo Gil, chief investigator of the Commissary of Mossos d'Esquadra en Tortosa, told El Periodico, "The penal code leaves no doubt that acts of cultivation, growing or trafficking drugs, or other forms of promoting or facilitating drug use, are illegal."

    Rasquera's mayor, Bernat Pellisa, told EFE that the town was studying the project because it was "an opportunity, not a frivolity," according to a translation by The Huffington Post.

    The results of the investigation of the legality of the project and its ramifications will determine if the pot farm will move forward, or if the economic recovery plans will go up in smoke.

    Original article ......... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/28/rasquera-marijuana-spain_n_1307598.html?ref=world


  1. Alfa
    I saw this on the news today, and they are considering to lease a large plot of land from the government for the sum of... 1.3 million euro over the course of 2 years. That would eliminate the municipalities debt of 1.3 million. On top of that it would provide 50 jobs and a lot of income for the companies involved.
    Interviews with local people showed a lot of support for the project.

    Strangely enough the news stated that growing cannabis is legal in Spain. Have I missed something??
    Me neither to be honest, but apparently:

    Quote: "Growing cannabis for your own use, be it for recreational or medicinal purposes is allowed."

    Excerpt from spanish Wikipedia Article:
    "En España se perfila el cultivo de canabis esencialmente con una actividad instrumental que sólo alcanza relevancia jurídico penal en la medida en que el proceso de su puesta en marcha persiga como finalidad la obtención de droga con ánimo de traficar, en el amplio sentido de la palabra, quedando excluidos por su irrelevancia el cultivo de la planta de la marihuana destinado al autoconsumo, o a cualquiera de las modalidades de utilización exentas de punición. (10) El uso terapéutico está regulado mediante receta hospitalaria."
    Obs.: will extend on this subject and translate above excerpt asap - sorry, no time atm.

    See also attached Drug Legislation in Spain - statal and autonomous regions - and an overview (map) of the European Cannabis Laws; picture source: Wikipedia.
  3. Lehendakari
    If you get caught growing weed in Spain they can only prosecute you if they can prove you were doing it with the intention of comitting further illicit actions such as selling and trafficking, however this is very easy to prove cause the only reason they see to grow weed other than trafficking is self supply, and that is applied when you get caught with very few plants.

    In this case they cannot prosecute you but they can get you fined if you plantation is outside, up to €3,000 for faults against public health (literal translation) even if the plantation is inside your private property.

    Quote: "Growing cannabis for your own use, be it for recreational or medicinal purposes is allowed."

    This is partially true only as if you have a single plant in your backyard and it is big enough they consider it as a danger for public health and you can get fined if a neighbor complains.

    Also you need an specific authoritation from public health authorities to grow yourself for medical purposes.

    That being said there is a large cannabis growing industry in Spain for textile use and seed recolection. "Cañamones" (cannabis seeds) are widely used in some spanish bakery dishes and for pet bird food so growing cannabis is legal provided you do it the legal way, that is, asking for permissions, licenses and all the bureaucracy involved.

    In the case of Rasquera, I should say that the town is governed by left wing republican independentist radical party, and I doubt of the good intentions of the city council and mayor, as they tend rather very often to propose this kind of projects in the few towns the have power just to make propaganda and to annoy the rest of the Spanish institutions.

    The project has been approved by the council already and the proposal includes an official statement saying that the investors are legal cannabis smokers social clubs and cancer patients associations that will use the production exclusively for supply of its members, and their only intention is to have a legal support for "a bussiness that already exists" and that will finish off the black market. They also want to create a public society for the research of the cannabis sativa plants.

    News are good, but I can tell you this has little, very little chance of ending up well.
  4. Lehendakari
    A little update, yesterday a referundum took place and locals approved to grow marijuana "legally" for Cannabis consumers social clubs in the little town's soil, with the support of 56% of voters.

    This, however, is far from the 75% support the Mayor stated would be needed to carry on with the project (he also stated he woud leave the council if he didn't get 75 % support) but today after the official results were known he said it would be premature to take the decision wether to go on or not. He will make public his decision late in the evening today or tomorrow.

    A few weeks ago, the President of one of the Cannabis Clubs (the main inversor of the project) was arrested and charged when they found at her residence copius amounts of dried cannabis, live plants and more than €3000 in cash.

    Moreover, the project is being scrutinized by Catalonian prosecution and judges, studying its legallity. Central and regional Goverments have publicly oppossed the Rasquera project.

    The rest of the News article describes how the little town was yesterday focus of international and local media.

    Sorry, I used quotes cause it was in Spanish. The whole article can be read here:

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