BRANSON: LEGALISING CANNABIS WOULD SOLVE SPAIN"S DEFICIT PROBLEM

Source: ThinkSpain

May 10, 2012

The official opening of Barcelona“s Cannabis Museum yesterday proved to be the
perfect opportunity for experts to renew calls for the legalisation of the drug,
with Richard Branson saying that Spain could solve its deficit problem by
legalising cannabis alone.

The multi-millionaire founder of the Virgin emporium is also a member of a
global commission on drugs policy which includes five ex-presidents and Kofi
Annan, the former United Nations secretary general, and which concluded last
year that the war on drugs had failed and called for experiments in
decriminalisation.

Branson said that if Spain were to legalise cannabis use and collect taxes on
its consumption, marijuana could go a long way towards solving its current
economic problems: „it would help get the country back on its feet“, he said.

Branson was in Barcelona to receive an award from the promotors of the new
Cannabis Museum – the biggest in the world at 900 square metres – in recognition
of the work the commission has done since 2004 to promote the acceptance of the
plant in all its forms and the reintroduction of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The British multimillionaire took the opportunity to praise the initiative taken
by the village of Rasquera (Tarragona), whose inhabitants voted for an
„anticrisis plan“ involving renting out land to a Barcelona-based cannabis
growers“ society.

„It seems like a great idea to me“, said Branson, who also expressed his regret
over what he considered to be Amsterdam“s „backward step“ and an „error“ in
changing Dutch law so that visitors to the country can no longer buy cannabis in
the country“s coffee shops.

The mayor of Rasquera, Bernat Pellisa, was also present at the Museum“s and he
underlined the fact that his plan to help the village out of recession was, in
fact, based on a report by the global commission that Branson is a member of.
„This ceremony is a loudspeaker for an opportunity to combat the economic crisis
that no-one stops talking about“, said the mayor.

The museum, which opens to the public on Friday, will exhibit paintings, photos
and drawings illustrating the use of cannabis throughout history, as well as
some antique objects, like tools and instruments used to transform the hemp
plant into rope, paper and fabric.

European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies (ENCOD), 13.05.2012
http://www.encod.org/info/BRANSON-LEGALISING-CANNABIS-WOULD.html

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