Spain village votes on plan to rent land to grow cannabis

Apr 10, 2012

The Spanish village of Rasquera voted Tuesday on a plan to rent out a field for growing cannabis in an urgent bid to create jobs and raise money to pay off its debts.

Rasquera's village council on February 29 approved the plan to rent seven hectares (17 acres) of public land to an association that promotes the legal recreational or therapeutic use of cannabis by its 5,000 members in a 4-3 vote.

But since the plan was met with fierce opposition from some residents and opposition parties who fear it will turn the village located 140 kilometres (90 miles) south of Barcelona into a drugs mecca, the council agreed to put it to a referendum.

A total of 804 residents were eligible to cast ballots in the referendum which posed the question: "Do you agree with the anti-crisis plan approved by the Rasquera town hall on February 29?".

Results will be announced after the polls close at 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) on Tuesday.

Private consumption of cannabis is not outlawed in Spain although it is illegal to sell the drug.

Rasquera, where local produce traditionally includes olives and grapes, is suffering from the country's severe public financing crisis and hopes income from letting the land will help it pay down its 1.3 million euros ($1.7 million) of debt.

The village council, controlled by a pro-Catalan independence party, says the plan would create 40 direct and indirect jobs, mostly involving the harvesting of the cannabis crop.

It argues the field can be rented to the Barcelona Personal Use Cannabis Association (ABCDA) for over 10 times the regular market price.

The Barcelona-based cannabis smokers' association will reportedly pay the village 650,000 euros a year for the right to grow its annual supply there.

Mayor Bernat Pellisa has said he will resign along with the rest of the village council if the proposal is not backed by 75 percent of eligible voters.

"The village, like so many others, has many difficulties, a big crisis, a lot of inhabitants without work," said Rasquera economic councillor Josep Maria Insausti.

"Now we are being asked to pay off our debts impossibly quickly for a small village."

Explore further: Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cannabis link to other drugs

Jul 19, 2011

Quitting cannabis use in your 20s significantly reduces the chance of progressing to other illicit drugs, according to research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Cannabis-related schizophrenia set to rise, say researchers

Mar 23, 2007

If cannabis causes schizophrenia - and that remains in question - then by 2010 up to 25 per cent of new cases of schizophrenia in the UK may be due to cannabis, according to a new study by Dr Matthew Hickman of the University ...

Recommended for you

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

10 hours ago

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

irjsiq
1 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2012
The use of mind-altering substances is as old as recorded history, and likely existed even before.
Legalization of 'Leaves and Grass' could preclude use of more dangerous and harmful substances.

Roy J Stewart,
Phoenix, AZ
kaasinees
1 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2012
you can use cannabis for many things, like making paper and car parts.
the village might as well abbandon housing market laws and grow their own food, no more crisis.

More news stories

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.