Take it from one of these unfortunate grow/stash owner stories culled from around the world this past week:
Our adventure begins in the port of Casablanca, in Morocco, home of some of the world's finest hashish, known locally as chira (charas to us Westerners). Morocco is a main supplier of the popular drug to Europe, and recent chira busts of 5.7 and 3.78 tons left authorities in the North African nation with a hefty hunk of hash to dispose of.
So on Thursday, government officials, police, and members of the royal military force gathered around the 19,000lb log of high grade cannabis resin and "incinerated" it. Officials allegedly vowed not to inhale as the pungent plume of smoke filled the African air.
Smoke-filled skies are nothing new for airborne firefighting "Smoke Jumper" squads who routinely parachute into rugged terrain that may be inaccessible by foot, to provide a quick initial attack on remote wildland fires. Responding Monday evening to a lightning strike fire in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in Southern Oregon, USDA Smoke Jumpers accidentally dropped into an illegal marijuana growing operation.
Jackson County sheriffs were notified and over 1000 premature pot plants were seized, along with two firearms. Sheriff's office spokeswoman Andrea Carlson says that the site has been used before by growers for Mexican drug cartels. No arrests have been made, and local authorities are hoping that the public may be able to provide a lead regarding the outdoor grow.
It was a lead about an alleged indoor marijuana grow that led police in East Kingston, New Hampshire to the door of 33 year old Ikie Davis on Wednesday. Police seized four mature cannabis plants, along with papers, pipes, grow lights, fertilizers, seeds and clones, according to East Kingston police Cpl. Mark Iannuccillo. "We just got a tip that he was growing it," the corporal said. "We found some paraphernalia, but nothing that made us think it was a widespread growing operation."
So why is Ikie Davis' story noteworthy? Davis was growing his stash less than 300 feet from East Kingston Elementary School. And? Oh, and Ikie Davis happens to be on the East Kingston Planning Board. His fellow Boardmembers may frown upon this.
(This week in New Hampshire, the state Senate endorsed medical marijuana legislation, but specifically shot down the provision that would allow New Hampshire residents to grow their own.)
The Planning Board in Edinburgh, Scotland was probably just as confused as passers-by who witnessed men on Leith Walk repeatedly apply fresh coats of paint to the exterior of a commercial real estate building over a week long span. Neighboring business owners and patrons took note of the oddball painters who put dozens of coats of creme colored paint on the building for five hours each day, for five days straight. Pedestrians soon smelled right through the wanna-be-painters' ploy though, and last weekend Scotland Police raided the building and recovered 60 hydroponically (and illegally) grown cannabis plants, valued at over £25,000.
The culprits thought they could whitewash authorities by masking their highly illegal operation with multiple coats of acrylic latex paint. Local authorities blame Chinese, Malaysian, and Vietnamese gangs for creating the demand for cannabis cultivation in the Scottish lowlands. Vietnamese gangs growing weed in Scotland? That sounds as crazy as Mexican cartels operating in ... well, never mind.