Cannabis town gives Catalan judge bad vibes

Plans by a Catalan town to combat the crisis by leasing out land for marijuana plantations have not been given the green light.

Cannabis town gives Catalan judge bad vibes
Rasquera’s mayor Bernat Pellisa signed a €1.3 million deal with a Barcelona cannabis association in March 2012. Photo: YouTube

Rasquera’s mayor Bernat Pellisa signed a €1.3 million deal with a Barcelona cannabis association in March 2012, thereby allowing an area the size of ten football pitches to be used to plant marijuana by its 5,000 members.

"This is a chance to bring in money and create jobs," Pellisa, member of Catalan Republican Left ERC party told UK newspaper The Guardian at the time.

"The produce will only go to members of the association and it won't all be cannabis. There will be crop rotation with cereal and sugar beet."

But a court in the Catalan city of Tarragona has now revoked Rasquera’s agreements with the cannabis associations.

The judge overseeing the case alleged that, despite the tiny Catalan town’s financial problems and lack of work opportunities, the cannabis contracts weren't in the public interest.

“After waiting so long for the sentence to be passed, we were hoping that the judge’s arguments would be more balanced,” Pellisa told national daily El País.

“The judge’s sentence is arbitrary and groundless,” said Rasquera's town hall lawyer Martí Cànaves.

“The sentence is only six pages long. If the main reason the judge has revoked our appeal is because he argues it’s not in the public interest, he should outline in full the reasons why.”

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Rooftop weed plantation revealed during Spain’s La Vuelta cycle race coverage

The growers of a marijuana plantation on the rooftop of an apartment in Catalonia have been rumbled after viewers spotted the greenery in aerial footage of Spain’s Vuelta cycling race.

Rooftop weed plantation revealed during Spain's La Vuelta cycle race coverage
The rooftop plantation was revealed in live broadcast by a helicopter. Footage: La Vuelta

The crop was revealed as a helicopter hovered over the building in Calle Lleida in the Catalan town of Igualada recording live footage of the final kilometre of the eighth stage of the race.

Viewers reported the sighting to the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan police force said in a statement and they then went to the property to investigate.

Officers found 40 individual plants on the rooftop but no arrests were made as the growers had reportedly “left the property in a hurry”.

While the buying or selling of cannabis is a criminal offence in Spain, growing it on private property for private consumption is legal. But it’s a grey area. Cannabis clubs have proliferated in cities across Spain, where members are allowed to smoke what has been specifically grown by and for the cooperative.

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