On Saturday, July 22, 2017, the Dutch Police were tipped by a hiker who found a makeshift plastic greenhouse containing five cannabis plants in the forest near the small town of Epe in the province of Gelderland.
According to the Epe Police Department, the concerned hiker initially paid little attention until noticing the tent was partially hidden by branches and leaves. When the curious hiker came closer, he saw five cannabis plants and called the police. On Facebook, the police published their ingenious tactics to eradicate the forbidden plants:
“In the night of Saturday, July 22, 2017 on Sunday, July 23, 2017, we examined the situation and saw that five big cannabis plants in the tent. As there was no owner of the tent, we decided to destroy the plants on the spot, giving them back to nature. This prompted us to return something to the owner of the DIY-growing tent. In order not to completely disappoint the unknown cannabis grower, we have refilled the flower pots. The grower will not get rich, but a forest is a place for fir trees. With the five hemp plants in hand and a smile on our face we left the forest. Unfortunately, we will never know how this inventive hemp growers will respond when seeing their own grown fir-cannabis. The grow will be cleaned up by the municipality.”
In the Netherlands, the cultivation of five plants is tolerated so long as the grow is not conducted under artificial light; the plants must be grown on private property but cannot be visible to the public. Cannabis cultivators must also ensure that neighbors do not feel disturbed by the smell or the sight of the plants. If the police receive a complaint about 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 cannabis plants, the offending plants will likely be seized without criminal prosecution of the owner.
In this case, the humor of the police did not win many laughs on social media. Instead of laughing at bad jokes at the expense of self-suppliers (“Five plants won’t make you rich!”), many readers demanded the long overdue legalization of cannabis in the Netherlands.
Photos courtesy of Politie Epe