Albanian Police forces made a peaceful incursion in Lazarati village (south Albania) better known as cannabis capital and advised village children to abandon growing cannabis and to read more books, a local newspaper report.
Lazarati has been a no-go zone for Albanian police since 1997 and during the last few years had been turned in a paradise for cannabis growers and for criminals. Villagers create armed groups in August and September harvesting seasons and usually police fight that by blocking the transport of water or by arresting daily laborers.
On Wednesday, regional police chief and other officials entered in the village to meet pupils from the local school. Daily Shqip reports that pupils were advised to influence their parents to not grow cannabis this year. Cannabis is usually planted in March and harvested in September. But the head of local municipality of Lazarari, Dashamir Aliko has also some advises:
“We will not ask you for the money that you already have but we [urge] you to put such money on honest work and not in dishonest work. You must convince your parents not to spend this money on casinos. Three casinos are already open in Lazarat. This is shame! Why they do not buy a shop, a business, but a 50k USD car. Why you would need such an expensive car in this area?”
One of the pupils present in the meeting is reported retorting: “If you tell us to convince our parents not to grow cannabis, do you guarantee us that you will provide jobs for them? This is our way of life”. The head of municipality answered: “Joblessness is not a concern only for Lazarat but for the majority of Albanians”.
At the end of the meeting, pupils got several leaflets against drugs. The meeting was organized as part of police community outreach program called “Keep your direction”!