The consolidation of the cultivation and illegal trafficking of marijuana in Catalonia is a great political and social problem. The international drug mafias have made the Catalan territory their main European base for the marijuana business. This poses a serious risk to public safety, even ahead of the health risk, due to the increase in violence involved in fights between gangs.
For several years now, the Mossos d’Esquadra have warned of the lack of means to combat the rise of the illegal marijuana business in Catalonia. This lack of means prevents an effective fight against the cultivation of this drug and the establishment of European mafias. Police actions should be strengthened to prosecute drug trafficking. But fundamentally, it would also be necessary to put an end to the legal laxity with which criminals who are arrested are dealt with, both for cultivation and trafficking of marijuana and for fraud against electricity companies.
We must face the fight against drug trafficking wrongly called soft
The legal framework that penalizes the production and trafficking of marijuana in Spain is much more lax than in the rest of the European countries because it is still considered a soft drug. Nor is electricity fraud punishable by prison. In countries like Portugal, France or Italy, the law includes severe penalties for this crime. Curiously, the ease of illegally connecting to the electricity grid, together with the many disused industrial plants and warehouses in the territory, make Catalonia the place in Europe where marijuana production is cheapest.
The proximity to the border and good communications with the main European consumption centers also make transport cheaper. This entails great profitability for this business. Suffice it to bear in mind that a gram of marijuana produced in Catalan territory costs six euros and is sold for more than twenty euros when it crosses the Pyrenees.
The economic structures that have been generated around marijuana, due to the high profits it produces, are increasingly important, attracting international capital and extending their criminal networks in various fields. It must also be said that the quality of marijuana made in Catalonia It is one of the best because in recent years a wide network of specialists in cultivation on an almost industrial scale has developed.
The problem already requires transversal actions. Marijuana must not only be fought for its negative effects on health, but also because of the threat it represents to public safety because Catalonia is a center of operations for the most dangerous mafias in all of Europe. The increase in drug crime is a risk for everyone. The time has come to act firmly on all fronts.