Crisis causes boom in weed production

REYKJAVIK The fall of Iceland’s economy made imports expensive, prompting an increase in domestic drug production.

By Axel Kronholm

Iceland’s police force are constantly unraveling new marijuana farms. Recently they busted a farm in Skagafjörður, in northern Iceland. The farm was situated in an abandoned house, far away from any other settlements, and contained 34 plants.

The financial crisis of 2008 is believed to be a major cause of this increasing production of narcotics, particularly marijuana. When the Icelandic króna fell it became too expensive to import marijuana from Europe.

The most recent bust made by Lögreglan – Iceland's police force. Photo: Lögreglan

Busts like the one in Skagafjörður are made every week. The police are happy to post pictures and boast about their accomplishments on their Facebook page. The last bust is from Wednesday the 28th of March, where they found 10 cannabis plants in an apartment in Reykjavik. The landlord – a man in his forties – readily confessed his involvement.

Between 2007 and 2010, the police’s seizures of narcotics rose by 760 percent. But despite this rise in domestic production, the Icelandic people’s attitude towards the drug remains negative. 87,3 percent of the people are against legalizing cannabis, according to a recent survey.

Iceland’s laws regarding marijuana are similar to those in the other Nordic countries. Consumption is illegal even in small ammounts. Selling, transporting or cultivating the drug could result in jail time. Possession is, however, not strictly enforced.

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