The Vuelta A España is one of the most prestigious bike races in the world. Spain’s premier bike race is one of pro cycling’s three Grand Tour races, along with the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. Because these races are all over 100 miles, it’s impossible to have stationary cameras following the competitors, so broadcasts are mainly comprised of cameramen following on motorcycles and in helicopters.
Toward the end of Stage 8 in Catalonia, a helicopter camera captured more than just the racing. Toward the right, the camera showed a rooftop full of green plants that turned out to be marijuana. According to ESPN, local police were alerted when people were talking about the plants on social media. So just like when people on Twitter ask why something’s trending makes it keep trending, they’ve also become inadvertent narcs.
— ConfidencialColombia (@confidencialcol) September 4, 2019
It should be noted that growing marijuana in Catalonia isn’t necessarily illegal. While police said they “seized 40 marijuana plants,” they also noted that “no one has been arrested, but the investigation is still ongoing to find those responsible.”
The law in Spain states that if it’s for self-consumption, growing marijuana is legal. There’s nothing in the law that says how large the farm can be, but 40 plants seems a bit excessive if it’s for self-consumption, which is why the plants were seized. This is a warning to other pot farmers in Spain: make sure your operation isn’t along the course of the Vuelta a España in public view.