Analysis 21 Nov 16

‘Cannabis Economy’ Threatens to Overrun Albania

Albanian police seem to be losing the fight to stop widespread cannabis cultivation, which experts say is distorting the economy and politics and undermining the pillars of democracy.

Fatjona Mejdini
BIRN
Tirana
Albanian Police during an anti-cannabis action. Photo: State Police 

Cannabis cultivation is once again in the spotlight in Albania as the opposition and government cross swords over the subject.

The centre-right opposition accuses Edi Rama’s centre-left government of turning a blind eye to widespread cannabis cultivation in order to please people involved in the “industry” ahead of next year’s general elections. Ruling party officials strongly deny the claim.

Experts, meanwhile, say drugs cultivation is overshadowing and distorting the Albanian economy, weakening legal businesses and corrupting state institutions.

They believe that unless the government finally cracks down on two decades of large-scale cannabis production, it could shake the foundations of society, much like the disastrous Ponzi-style pyramid schemes that crashed the economy and pushed to the country to the brink of civil war in 1997.

Subscribe to Balkan Insight Premium to read the full article.

Please login to your account below if you are already a Premium Subscriber.

Buy Premium Subscription

Our Premium Service gives you full access to all content published on BalkanInsight.com, including analyses, investigations, comments, interviews and more. Choose your subscription today and get unparalleled in-depth coverage of the Western Balkans.

Buy Premium Subscription

If you have trouble logging in or any other questions regarding you account, please contact us

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest News from the Balkans

20 Jan 18

Romanians Resume Anti-Corruption Protests

19 Jan 18

Russia Slaps New Ban on Bosnian Apples

19 Jan 18

Duma Slates Moldova's Ban on Russian TV Shows

19 Jan 18

Djukic Trial for Tuzla Massacre Delayed Again

Premium Selection

leader-of-eu-greens-slams-bulgaria-over-ski-resort-expansion-01-18-2018
19 Jan 18

EU Green Leader Condemns Threat to Bulgarian National Park

The European Greens co-president Ska Keller tells BIRN of her grave concerns for the future of the UNESCO-protected Pirin National Park, after Bulgaria's government approved plans to expand the ski resort there.

vucic-visits-kosovo-to-benefit-politically-experts-say-01-18-2018
19 Jan 18

Vucic Visiting Kosovo to Profit Politically, Experts Say

Saturday's planned visit to Kosovo by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic – following the assassination of Kosovo Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic – is being seen as a point-scoring exercise.

18 Jan 18

Murder Puts Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue in Doubt

17 Jan 18

How Rich Are the Balkans’ Top Politicians?