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Albania

Albania, Europe's capital of illicit cannabis, under US pressure to eradicate

Posted on April 23rd, 2019 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

AlbaniaAlbania is pledging another one of its endless and fruitless cannabis eradication campaigns, which never succeed in bumping the country from its spot as Europe's biggest illicit producer. The US is pressing the small Balkan nation for the campaign—and kicking in military aid.

Cannabis in the Balkans: from criminals to capitalists?

Posted on January 25th, 2019 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

EuropeA contraband cannabis economy booms in the Balkan Peninsula, where the wars of the 1990s spurred an underground dope-for-guns network that still thrives today. But amid EU pressure to crack down, a legal industry is now starting to emerge.

Albania under pressure to catch 'big fish' of cannabis

Posted on October 17th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

AlbaniaThe Balkan country of Albania, trying to live down its pariah status as Europe's top cannabis producer, has cracked down hard in recent years, sparking instances of armed resistance from peasant growers. But despite repeated declarations that the country is "marijuana-free," the issue won't go away—and is coming to the fore once again as Albania seeks to join the European Union. The latest to lecture Albanian leaders is US ambassador Donald Lu, who this month warned that the country's criminal networks remain intact.

'Green gold' is still king in Albania

Posted on December 5th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

AlbaniaIt is now one year since Albania, trying to live down its pariah status as Europe's top cannabis producer, officially declared itself "marijuana-free," after a crackdown undertaken with Italian police aid. But an on-the-scene BBC News report, filed Dec. 1, informs us that the impoverished Balkan country retains the title of the largest producer of outdoor-grown cannabis, at least. Close-up shots of the drying harvest in one village are provided. The crop is described as "green gold" for Albania's struggling farm communities. "In a poor nation, it's a billion-euro industry."

Cannabis busts continue in 'marijuana-free' Albania

Posted on November 25th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

AlbaniaTrying to live down its reputation as Europe's top pot producer, Albania two months ago officially declared itself "marijuana-free," with Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri boasting that 99.2% of cannabis plants seen on aerial maps had been destroyed. That made for a total of 690,000 plants covering 44 hectares (109 acres), Tahiri said. After a series of paramilitary-style raids on the fertile valley towns where cannabis cultivation had become the economic mainstay, the remaining growers have reportedly been pushed up into inaccessible mountain areas. (SkyNews, Sept. 16)

Albania legalization initiative

Posted on March 4th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

AlbaniaBalkan Insight reported Feb. 28 that Koço Kokedhima, an MP with Albania's ruling Socialist Party, has launched a campaign calling for the legal cultivation of cannabis. The country is considered a major supplier for Europe, and last year its police carried out major eradication operations, destroying scores of plantations and arresting dozens. "Albania produces cannabis of high quality, well known in Europe. This could be done under state licenses for the pharmaceutical industry," Kokedhima told the parliament in a discussion on ways to support the country's impoverished rural sector. 

Hashish helicopter crashes in Spain

Posted on January 30th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

SpainA helicopter loaded with Moroccan hashish crashed in southern Spain after hitting a power pylon, killing its two pilots, authorities said Jan. 28. The chopper went down in the wee hours near the mountain town of Cortes de la Frontera in Málaga province, apparently while takng evasive maneuvers as a Spanish Guardia Civil helicopter gave chase. The smugglers' chopper was painted black to avoid being detected at night, and carrying between 800 and 900 kilos of hash. One of the dead pilots has been identified as an Albanian army major, Sokol Feka. Media reports in Albania say he was an instructor at the Balkan country's Farkës air base.

Italian military to grow medical marijuana

Posted on September 30th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

ItalyItaly's government announced Sept. 18 plans to cultivate medical marijuana at a secure military lab outside Florence and distribute it through pharmacies. Medical marijuana has been legal in Italy since 2007, but only some 60 patients have signed up with the program overseen by the national healthcare system, the Azienda Sanitaria Locale. The Florence Military Chemical-Pharmaceutical Plant (SCFM) currently produces so-called "orphan drugs" no longer made by large pharmaceutical companies but still needed to treat rare diseases. It is now to grow cannabis under a deal signed between Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti and Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin. "The institute already produces some medicines," Pinotti told Reuters, addressing the unlikely prospect of entrusting the military with weed cultivation. "And we can guarantee security conditions."

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