Albania grapples with cannabis, a hurdle to EU accession

Smaller producers are being punished by the crackdown
AFP (France)
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

As Albania gears up for elections, one huge challenge facing the Balkan country has been low on the campaign agendas: the scourge of its cannabis fields, which threatens to hinder EU accession. Mountainous Albania is the main supplier of herbal cannabis trafficked to the European Union, says the bloc’s law enforcement agency, Europol. Despite Albania’s attempts to crack down on the illicit but lucrative trade, recent international reports said the scourge is yet to be brought under control – and that the criminal gangs behind it are escaping justice. (See also: Riding along with Albania's pot police | Albanian police go airborne for anti-cannabis offensive)