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: Engineers develop gift guide for parents

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

Engineers develop gift guide for parents

Nov 21, 2014

Faculty and staff in Purdue University's College of Engineering have come up with a holiday gift guide that can help engage children in engineering concepts.

Former Brown dean whose group won Nobel Prize dies

Nov 20, 2014

David Greer, a doctor who co-founded a group that won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for working to prevent nuclear war and who helped transform the medical school at Brown University, has died. He was 89.

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.