What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us
Mid-day Update

Small town in Spain considers growing marijuana

Tom Burridge Apr 11, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: Over 50 percentof a small village in northern Spain has voted in favor of a plan to allow marijuana to be grown there. The aim is to generate money for the village to help wipe out its debt. However it’s still unclear if the idea will go ahead.

Here for today’s Mid-day Extra, we have the BBC’s Tom Burridge in Madrid.

Tom Burridge: Just over 800 people live in the Catalonian village of Rasquera. Only 555 of them took part in a referendum. They had to vote “yes” or “no” to the Mayor’s plan to cancel out the village’s debt. But his plan included a proposal to allow marijuana to be grown in the village.

The mayor is Bernat Pellisa.

Bernat Pellisa: It’s an opportunity for the village. it will make the village money, and it will create jobs.

A pro-cannabis organization wants to pay the village for the right to grow the drug on its land.

But even though more than half of the village voted in favour of the plan, it might still not go ahead. The mayor had said he would resign if his plan did not get a “yes” vote of 75 percent.

Today though, he suggested he isn’t stepping down. And then there’s also the question of whether growing marijuana in the village would be legal: You can smoke it in Spain, but selling and growing marijuana are against the law.

In Madrid, I’m the BBC’s Tom Burridge, for Marketplace.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.