|Photo: National Post|
|“Oh, my. This smells like that nice young man next door.”|
Police in the Netherlands are handing out about 30,000 marijuana-scented scratch and sniff cards to citizens in a laughable effort to uncover illegal urban cannabis gardens.
The cards are being distributed to help people recognize what cannabis smells like, according to authorities in Rotterdam and The Hague, reports BBC.
The cards also include a handy number to call to squeal on your pot-growing neighbors.
Dutch police routinely look the other way as long as citizens don’t grow more than five marijuana plants for personal use.
But apparently they’ve decided it’s time to go after larger-scale growers. Now… how are neighbors suppose to tell by smell alone whether that weirdo next door has 5 plants or 25? It’s not hard to imagine hundreds of spurious calls to the pot narc line with paranoid neighbors trying to snitch each other out — or maybe just looking to settle an old score.
“Citizens must be alerted to the dangers they face as a result of these plantations, and if they become aware of any suspect situations they must report them,” government spokesman Arnie Loos intoned grimly. Loos is part of a working group with the mission of combatting cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands.
The green scratch card, measuring 20 cm by 10 cm (8″x4″), reads “Assist in combatting cannabis plantations.”
When scratched, the card offers up its alluring herbal scent, and gives a police number people can call if they suspect a neighbor grows marijuana “on a large scale.”
The card also helpfully lists other supposed “indicators” of urban guerilla growing, such as the buzzing sound of ventilators, suspicious connections to electricity supply points and even “curtains that are kept close.” Jesus, maybe the guy’s just an introvert, you know?
“If people do in fact call the number listed on the card, we could make this a national operation,” Loos threatened on Monday.
Dutch police claim the plantations are a hazard which can cause fires or accidents because of the power cords and lamps needed for cultivation.
Police believe there are 40,000 illegal marijuana grow operations throughout the Netherlands, concealed in warehouses, apartments, and attics.
Each year, about 200 pot gardens are busted in Rotterdam alone.
The Netherlands decriminalized the use and possession of up to five grams of marijuana back in 1976. But large-scale cultivation and sale of pot remain illegal.