Inside the Albanian village that makes Europe’s weed

The call to prayer echoes off the
mountains a lazy afternoon stir in the quaint village of Lazarat southern
Albania a place built into rock in splendid isolation the locals farming
stock – tough – suspicious. How is the old marijuana business going yeah so how was
it that this place became the biggest producer of illegal marijuana in Europe
and why did it culminate in this a three-day gun battle a few weeks ago To get to Lazarat you drive three hours south from the capital Tirana. We arrived in the evening unannounced it felt like a border crossing – a state
within a state so that was the second police checkpoint we’ve come across on
the way to this quaint Albanian mountainous village. Police really tooled
up there are obviously special forces long before the fall of communism this
village was abandoned by the politicians no running water no roads no law – so
villagers took care of themselves over time lazaret became pariah and proud so we’ve got through the roadblocks where we’ve arrived in the center of this
Albanian village this is one of the gentlemen we’ve met he’s from the
Special Forces and we’ve been told that tomorrow he will serve as our guide to
show us around the village the following morning without the
balaclava and on condition we wouldn’t use his name the tour Are all these holes in the ground here were you dug up
marijuana plants but – so we’ve got like potatoes marijuana potatoes marijuana
potatoes in just this garden here – Yeah in the 90s a group of locals returned
from a stint working with criminal gangs in Italy – they brought back marijuana
seeds and started growing on their family plots the returns, well, beat
potatoes – so soon everyone in the village wanted in Let’s talk to this
lady Did you used to grow marijuana here in your garden – so can you ask her, those big holes that are in her garden where the
police came and dug out the plants what what are they Potatoes. God there are big big potatoes over the
years this once poor desolate village became a European marijuana bazaar. Absolute mountains of the stuff. Traffickers dealt directly with farmers
bigger farmers became bigger players organized crime moved in they produce so
much marijuana they ran out of places to store it – the water tanks weren’t for
water the place was literally packed to the
rafters with the stuff everyone became rich but how rich? This
investigative journalist was born nearby how much money did the people in this
village make from this business 4.5 billion dollars each year which means – what now really – yeah which means the half of Albania GDP they got so rich they
employed help an estimated 3,000 laborers from elsewhere Do you want to give me
the torch Houses were adapted – networks of storage bunkers under family homes oh my god so this is the stuff that would have
ended up in London Manchester and all over the all over Europe Are these old sniper bullets Lasarat had become Albania’s Wild West then a new government decided to tame
marijuana ville the old chief of police was replaced by this man And on the 16th of June this year the showdown – he sent a small
army of police up over the mountains They had bazookas? Villagers, drug dealers and even hired mercenaries fought the law but the law won. For a police force in need of a reputation
reboot it was a coup no lives were lost this red circle painted on the gate
means that it was raided by Special Forces and this is where they’ve burnt a
big mound of marijuana outside the house and we were told that when they heard the
police were coming they threw their guns out onto the street that was the
households that surrendered some of them of course didn’t Only a
handful of families were not involved in the business and they by and large were
devout Muslims like this man There were over 50 arrests 500 weapons were seized but why did the
Albanian government intervene now after so long? A clue – the EU I think this was
the moment to show that you must do something you must cut off – I see – this
village and then you can you can have steps for becoming
members Exactly a week after the Battle of Lazarat the European Union agreed to
grant Albania candidate for membership status who’s this lady
here? Towards the end of the tour we met this woman
according to her politicians left Lazarat well enough alone for decades
because they were doing pretty well out of it themselves there’s actually no culture
of smoking marijuana here so she invited us home for goats cheese and Raki We whiled away an afternoon talking about survival, politics, and the new Albania

100 thoughts on “Inside the Albanian village that makes Europe’s weed

  1. Albania is full of drugs and prostitution. Now the state is trying to control a piece in drugs in order to sell them instead of them

  2. none of our weed comes from there.. xD
    in central europe everything is localy produced and its booming for years.
    check your facts xD

  3. I don’t understand how so many people have become obsessed with drugs over the world. Shows who is and who isn’t educated.

  4. This is "westerners" doing….
    They let them made drugs, coz they sell it in Italy, Greece and lot other places…and they drawn their money from their countries…
    Just another westerners agenda…divided them and then rule!!!

  5. Many news presenters are actually MI5 agents who're simply engaged to persuade. I have no idea whether this Paraic O'Brien is a spook, but I don't like his tone!

  6. Freedom Dignity Speech In Occupy Agea, Pirin, Mala Prespa, Golo Brdo,. By Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians And Kosovars !!!!!
    F the Enemies Of Macedonians !!!!!

  7. I had the pleasure of smoking some of albanias finest cannabis…organic using only cow manure from the village 🇦🇱❤

  8. This magical plant should be legal absolutely everywhere on our planet!?! If there is a god he or she put it here for a reason!?!

  9. Think if that $4.5 billion was taxed and regulated. Just think of the things you could create with that. It would probably make more if it was legal as well.

  10. As an Albanian myself, I guarantee that the authorities cooperate with the Lazar people and help ship the drugs. A lot of the Albanian income comes from Lazar drugs.

  11. Politics and those trashy politicians are the only reason why Albania is poor today and ALBANIANS are at this low level …. If Albania had our nation's father's like Ismail Qemali,Petro Nini luarasi,Faik Konica etc etc as political leaders then we would be something else ways better then now

  12. I dont know where you coming from but 83% of weed and hashish in europe is coming from Marocco idiot, not albania….

  13. Well.. I wonder why people get surprised when they said the villagers had bazookas. I think its much harder to get your hands on a mortar than a bazooka.

  14. Παππού το όπλο θα σου μπει στον κώλο !!! Γαμώ την Αλβανία ! Analbania … 🖕🇦🇱🖕

  15. them poor people should carry on one gives them nothing.I'm from England and think governments should let poor people grow weed.good luck people keep from England

  16. Hear that cnn fox and all the other fake news. Only ones who didn't join were devout Muslims.

    U have good and bad in every religion. Only Zionism is pure evil and controls the media, as a European all of my close friends are Muslims. They're 100 times better people then we ever will be. Truth hurts.

  17. All this effort for a harmless plant that provided more jobs than the government ever could! Also this weed isn't in England like the guy says 80% of English weed is gomegrown.

  18. 6:50 devoted Muslims they dont work and grow weed they are good people who dont make harm to younger people with drugs, in Albania they have all religions is mixture of albanian people with diferent religions, and Islam doesent allow harmful things. Thanks God that im Islamic believer Elhamdulilah

  19. The information in this video is fuckin outrageous. WHO GOT RICH? The villagers you see living with the basic needs? The dealers?? Or the high class men in black in charge?

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