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Catalan authorities to rein in Barcelona cannabis clubs

Posted on August 5th, 2014 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

SpainIn the past few years, Spain's freewheeling Mediterranean port city of Barcelona has come to rival Amsterdam as Europe's premier cannabis scene, with a proliferation of clubs where merry-makers openly light up. Now the Public Health Agency of the Generalitat de Catalunya has proposed tight new measures to regulate the clubs, and discourage the burgeoning cannabis economy.

Medellín kingpin busted in Spain

Posted on July 20th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

SpainSpanish authorities on July 19 announced the arrest of wanted Colombian kingpin Hernán Alonso Villa AKA "El Ratón" (The Mouse), who was apprehended on a highway outside the Mediterranean port of Alicante. Alonso Villa is said to have been a top European operative for the Oficina de Envigado, now Colombia's most powerful criminal organization, and is held responsible for exporting massive amounts of cocaine to Spain, the Netherlands, and elsewhere on the continent. He is also accused of having led the Oficina's paramilitary enforcement wing in Colombia. The Oficina has been linked to nearly 400 murders, according to authorities. Spain's National Police said Alonso Villa has been transfered to Madrid pending extradition to Colombia. (The Guardian, July 20; Latino Post, El Tiempo, July 19)

Morocco questions cannabis prohibition

Posted on December 5th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

North AfricaMoroccan lawmakers on Dec. 4 opened an unprecedented debate on legalizing medical and industrial uses of cannabis. The discussion of positive uses of cannabis cultivation "in creating an alternative economy" in Morocco, one of the world's top exporters, was convened following a campaign by dissident politicians.  "We are organizing a research day in parliament...on the use of medical kif, with Moroccan and international experts present," said Mehdi Bensaid, an MP with the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), adding that lawmakers are "looking at controlled rather than total legalization." Activists from Switzerland spoke about their country's experience with a recent decrim law at the session, which Bensaid called "the first step towards a draft law."

Morocco hashish exports through the roof

Posted on October 10th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

North AfricaAlgeria  seized more than 127 metric tons of hashish coming in from Morocco in the first eight months of 2013, authorities announced Oct. 2. Some 12,500 suspected traffickers were arrested and large quantities of various  psychotropic pills were also confiscated in raids. (These two trades seem to together in Middle East networks.) Algeria has officially closed its border with the conservative kingdom to the west since 1994, citing political tensions and the flow of contraband. But the trade obviously flourishes, with subsidized Algerian fuel  smuggled into Morocco in a dope-for-oil deal. In 2012, more than 157 tons of cannabis were seized in Algeria, compared with 53  in 2011. The explosion has prompted Algiers to beef up security on its western frontier. (Lebanon Daily Star, Oct. 2)

Spanish village declares right to grow cannabis

Posted on April 11th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

RasqueraBy a popular vote, the Spanish village of Rasquera on April 11 adopted a plan to rent out a field for growing cannabis in an urgent bid to create jobs and raise money to pay off its debts. Rasquera's village council approved the plan to rent seven hectares of municipal land to the Barcelona Personal Use Cannabis Association (ABCDA) in a 4-3 vote Feb. 29. A total of 804 residents were eligible to vote in the referendum, which posed the question: "Do you agree with the anti-crisis plan approved by the Rasquera town hall on February 29?" The approval—with 308 votes for, and 239 against—was hailed by Mayor Bernat Pellisa as a "magnificent result."

Spain emerges as new European cannabis hub

Posted on January 9th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

EuropeLong the main gateway to Europe for Moroccan hashish, Spain has over the past year emerged as one of the continent's main cannabis cultivation hubs, rivaling the Netherlands. Principal cultivation zones are Andalusia, Murcia, Catalonia, Aragon and especially Valencia—which the Guardia Civil describes as "a jungle of cannabis."

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