Village looks to pot for financial help

April 10, 2012 at 8:43 PM

RASQUERA, Spain, April 10 (UPI) -- A Spanish village hopes growing marijuana for a Barcelona cooperative will help pay off its $1.5 million debt from infrastructure projects.

But Rasquera, in the autonomous region of Catalonia, could have a problem. While marijuana is legal in Catalonia, it is illegal under Spanish law, and Catalonia is also part of Spain, Public Radio International reported Tuesday.

Mayor Bernat Pallisa hopes to contract with a marijuana association. The group's 5,000 members pay monthly dues and receive a supply of pot in return.

The association grows its own but says it needs more space. Rasquera, situated on the Mediterranean a 2-hour trip from Barcelona, appears to be a good site.

The village of about 3,000 people also needs the money. Pallisa said Rasquera went into debt a decade ago for modest improvements to its streets and still owes $1.5 million.

Villagers already grow cherries and olives, and Pallisa believes marijuana is simply a more profitable crop.

"Marijuana is like any of the crops you see around here," he said. "Pot's something you can plant that brings you a profit."

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