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Catalan town’s plans to grow marijuana go up in smoke

Judge’s ruling is a blow to cash-strapped Rasquera

A court has shot down plans by the town of Rasquera in the Catalan province of Tarragona to cultivate marijuana and sell it for therapeutic purposes in order to shore up its shaky financial situation.

Following a suit by the central government’s delegate in Catalonia, the Tarragona court ruled that the project was “not in the public interest” and questioned the competence of the local government to carry it out.

The plan to grow marijuana was approved by town hall in February of last year. It consisted of setting up a public company for the project and an agreement with an association that promotes the consumption of marijuana for therapeutic purposes, which was to buy the drug for the use of its members. The town hall agreed to act as an intermediary between the association and landowners in the municipality for the cultivation of the drug.

“Economic interest or the serious economic situation of a town hall does not come within the concept of public interest,” Judge Rosa María Muñoz Rodon said in her ruling.

Rasquera Mayor Bernat Pellisa said the municipality would appeal the decision with the Catalan regional High Court.