The Spanish village of Rasquera is 1.3 million euros in debt, and with Spain's battered economy, not much relief in sight. Until now. This week, Rasquera held a referendum and the villagers voted 308 to 239 to rent land for growing marijuana.
Although trafficking remains illegal in Spain, growing cannabis for personal use isn't. Apparently the Barcelona Personal Use Cannabis Association (ABCDA) is prepared to pay the village 650,000 euros a year for the right to grow its annual supply there. At that rate, Rasquera could pay off its debt in a couple of years, a tempting offer indeed.
Considering that most pot smokers are youth, it may be unfair to ask them to pay off the village debt when they are already suffering from high unemployment. However, the ABCDA will no doubt get its dope somewhere, it may just as well be from Rasquera. And nothing like a joint or two to relieve the pain of unemployment.
The idea sounds win-win to me. The members of ABCDA get their high and the citizens of Rasquera get their debt paid off. Is there something here for Canada to ponder? It certainly beats building more prisons.