Drug Policy

Spanish Village Votes to Rent Out Public Land For 10 Soccer Fields' Worth of Marijuana


Rasquera, a village of 900 near Barcelona, Spain, feeling the crunch of Euro-austerity measures and heavy debt, voted 4-3 on Wednesday to let a nearby cannabis association use a stretch of city land to grow marijuana for its 5000 members.

According to The Guardian UK, this unlikely to proceed-into-reality measure:

[W]ill allow the association to plant on a seven-hectare stretch of town hall land – roughly the size of 10 football pitches. "This is a chance to bring in money and create jobs," explained mayor Bernat Pellisa of the Catalan Republican Left party, as older townsfolk worried that he was turning Rasquera into a drugs mecca.

Pellisa said he had sought legal advice that the scheme, part of a set of "anticrisis" measures passed at a packed town hall meeting, did not break Spain's ambiguous cannabis laws.

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

Adds CBS:

The idea is for private citizens to lease or lend land to town hall, which would then create a company to manage the land and lease it to an association of marijuana-smokers in Barcelona.

Under Spanish law, consumption in private of cannabis in small amounts is allowed. But growing it for sale, or advertising it or selling it, are illegal, the anti-drug official said on condition of anonymity under department policy.

The group that wants to acquire the marijuana, called ABCDA, said on its website that it will make an initial investment of [$40,000] but makes no mention of how much it will pay Rasquera per year. A representative who declined to give his name said more details would come when ABCDA signs a formal agreement with the village in the coming days.

ABCDA said the project would create 40 jobs in Rasquera — workers to grow, harvest and package the pot — and the marijuana produced would go to ABCDA members.

It's strange that Pellisa believes that growing enough marijuana for 5000 people would not violate Spain's laws against… growing marijuana. But according to the transnational institute, a cannabis social club is:

noncommercial organisations of users who get together to cultivate and distribute enough cannabis to meet their personal needs without having to turn to the black market. They are based on the fact that the consumption of illegal drugs has never been considered a crime under Spanish legislation. Taking advantage of this grey area, private clubs that produce cannabis for non-profit distribution solely to a closed  group of adult members have existed for years.

Adds the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Spain has different laws about soft and hard drugs, and there is some room for sneakiness:

The acquisition of cannabis is not an offense, and possession for personal use is not an offense. However, if a judge decides that cannabis or cannabis products are possessed for trafficking, then the penalty is from three years to six years in jail and a fine of Pts. 500,000-50,000,000.

John Stossel on Portugal's drug decriminalization ten year anniversary-lessons for the U.S.; Reason on drug policy

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  1. …voted 4-3 on Wednesday to let a nearby cannabis association use a stretch of city land to grow marijuana for its 5000 members.

    El bogarto no es bueno.

  2. Catalonia is almost a completely independent entity within Spain and still bristles at Spanish control, so if anybody is going to do this, it will be them. Plus they don’t give a shit about pot being grown. People grow pot openly on their verandas there.

  3. It takes a village.

  4. “The produce will only go to members of the association and it won’t all be cannabis,” he added. “There will be crop rotation with…”

    I was disappointed that sentence didn’t finish with “coca and opium poppy”.

    1. I agree.Opium Poppies and Coca would round it out nicely

  5. Dude, a little pot never hurt anyone!


  6. I’ve been trying to decide where to go for vacation this summer. Looks like I have a new leading candidate.

    1. If I remember correctly, you have just committed a felony under federal law by discussing or planning within the united states to do something in another country which is legal in that country.
      Hmmm. I guess I just committed a felony also by telling you that since I just became part of the discussion. Come to think of it, even if I advised you not to do it, I would be committing the same felony.

      Arent congresscritters geniuses?

  7. Pts. 500,000-50,000,000.

    but they have the euro ?!?

  8. I live in Barcelona and use this association ABCDA to buy my cannabis, This is not the only one they have here there are like 20 more and because of spanish law people are now becoming members and buying the cannabis from the associations and here it is not a problem for any body because of the way it isa done. It is exactly how it is, you become a member and then you can buy, if you dont know a member then you will not be able to buy

    1. That is brilliant, the money spent will go to good use in the village, and if the money did not go there or into the club it would go to organised crime. If members are free to join and leave clubs as they wish, who needs the crime organisations?

    2. Almost sounds like the bars in Salt Lake City. You had to buy a “membership” from the bar to be able to drink.

  9. “eurozone crisis”. that IS an excellent strain name lucy…

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