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How broke Spanish town's going to pot

A SMALL town in Spain believes it has found a novel way to pay off its debt: cultivating cannabis.

Tucked in the hills of one of Spain's most picturesque regions, the Catalonian village of Rasquera has agreed to rent out land to grow marijuana, an enterprise the local authorities say will allow them to pay off their ¤1.3m debt in two years.

Local authorities are keeping the location of the site top secret while Spain's attorney general investigates the legality of the project. The Catalan regional government has also asked the village for further information about the plan.

Spanish towns are swamped in debt after a construction boom that imploded in 2008. Almost one in four Spanish workers is jobless and many cities are behind in salaries for government employees.