Spanish judge vetoes cash-strapped town’s plan to grow pot

Rasquera (Spain), June 1 (IANS/EFE) This small farming community in northeastern Spain cannot create a cannabis plantation to help pay off its 1.3 million euro ($1.7 million) municipal debt, a judge ruled Friday.

Spain permits private consumption and cultivation of marijuana, which is used for medicinal purposes by some who suffer from chronic pain.

Officials in Rasquera, a town of fewer than 1,000 people, adopted the cannabis-growing plan in February 2012.

The initiative called for creating a municipal enterprise to forge a partnership with the Barcelona Association for Personal Consumption of Cannabis to grow pot, a project Rasquera’s administration expected to create 40 jobs and generate 1.33 million euros ($1.78 million) over two years.

Government attorneys subsequently filed a court challenge to the plan, leading to the decision announced Friday.

“The economic interest and the grave economic situation of a municipal administration cannot be included in the concept of public interest,” Judge Rosa Maria Muñoz Rodon said in quashing the initiative.

“We had the hope that after so much time awaiting the verdict, the arguments expressed would have more quality,” Rasquera Mayor Bernat Pellisa said, announcing plans to appeal the ruling.



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