If rule number one is broken, the highly important—and oddly specific—second rule of thumb goes into effect: if your giant rooftop weed farm is spotted by a television helicopter, you should probably look for a new place to store it, pretty much immediately.
Ok, that second one might be more common sense than anything else, but this apparently was not the case for one unfortunate weed grower, whose entire grow stash was exposed on live TV over the weekend. AKA, a farmer’s worst nightmare.
Helicopter Narcs Rooftop Weed Farm
During the Vuelta a Espana race—a three-week Grand Tour cycling stage race currently taking place in Spain, Andorra, and France—a television crew helicopter flew over a house with a rooftop weed farm as they were covering the race in Barcelona.
Per TMZ, someone watching the race spotted the plants and decided to call law enforcement. Barcelona police didn’t wait long to act on the tip, and soon after raided the house. They seized a whopping 40 marijuana plants during their search.
While that amount of green would undoubtedly land you in some dire straits in the U.S. — even in the weed legal states, where personal growing is usually limited to an absolute maximum of 12 plants (in select states)— cops say they haven’t made any arrests just yet and they’re still investigating the matter.
Spain’s ambiguous cannabis laws can be thanked for that.
Cannabis Laws in Spain
In Spain, cannabis consumption is *technically* legal. They’ve also been known as a hub for some of the most important medicinal studies over the years. But there are a few nuances that require an asterisk on marijuana’s legal status.
In October of 2018, the left-leaning political party, Podemos, introduced policies that would completely legalize the cannabis plant throughout Spain. However, those policies haven’t completely been put into effect yet.
As of now, it’s legal to smoke and cultivate cannabis for personal use, so long as its for “therapeutic” purposes. Unsurprisingly, it’s still illegal to traffic the drug and it’s also illegal for sale in commercial use, meaning cannabis companies and dispensaries—both recreational and medicinal— are not yet legal.
Additionally, it’s illegal to smoke in public, but thanks to a 2015 bill decriminalizing cannabis in private spaces, it can be consumed in cannabis clubs (there are over 700 estimated clubs in Spain today).
And while growing is legal, it has to be done on private property, away from the public eye. This is where the lines begin to blur for the “Vuelta a Espana” weed farmer. His crop was, technically, in the public eye, as it was seen from an overhead helicopter. Otherwise, it wasn’t in plain sight.
Furthermore, police are, in all likelihood, investigating whether or not the cannabis was being sold for commercial use, or simply being trafficked. Because let’s face it — 40 plants for one household is certainly a lot of tree.
Well, for most people, at least.