Austrian Police Okay Granny’s Weed Grow Over the Phone

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Last week, in Austria, a 78-year-old woman came out to the world as a successful cannabis grower. The pensioner and medical cannabis gardener shared her run-in with the law on Austrian television’s Die Barbara Karlich Show to a receptive audience.

“Mara” from the state of Vorarlberg wanted to try cannabis in the form of tea and oil to treat her chronic pain. So she recently started to grow a few plants, using cuttings purchased legally.

Now, the cannabis granny has three flowering plants that are already over two meters high.

"Mara" showing off the size of her cannabis plants.

Mara (right) showing off the size of her cannabis plants to an entertained studio audience.

Not interested in hiding from authorities, Mara dutifully reported the plants and her plans to produce medicine to the police because she was unsure about the legality of her operation.

In Austria, cannabis seeds and even non-flowering plants are legal because they can not be used to make narcotic drugs. Hundreds of aromatherapy strains are sold in the country’s many clone shops.

However, once the plants develop buds, they become illegal and their cultivation becomes a criminal offense regardless of the intended use.

The officer on the phone when Mara called squeezed both eyes in what must have been pure bewilderment before informing the polite woman she could only own a maximum of two plants. Thereupon, the 78-year-old answered, “That’s all the same to me, one could pine away.”

Despite her very public outing and three flowering plants, the police have not visited the green-thumbed pensioner’s garden.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett

About Author

Michael Knodt is an expert on cannabis politics and cannabis culture across Europe. Born in North Germany, Michael has been living in Berlin since 1990. He initially studied history and journalism before receiving his certification as a carpenter. Since then, Michael has made regular visits to countries where cannabis is cultivated, such as Jamaica and Morocco. He has worked as a freelancer for Weedmaps, Vice Magazine Germany, Sensi Seeds and numerous German-language cannabis magazines since 2004. From 2005 to 2013, Michael was the Editor-in-Chief of Germanys biggest cannabis periodical. He also is the face and presenter of the most popular program on cannabis prohibition and just launched a new channel called "DerMicha." Aside from his journalistic work, Michael is a cannabis patient, activist, sought-after speaker on conferences and congresses, and a father of two.

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