Saturday, September 5, 2009

They Could Smell It a Mile Away

There was so much marijuana in the truck that Edmonton police officers could smell it from half a block a way.

Dihn Xuan Luu, 44, and Deng Zuan Dihn, 51, were arrested earlier this week when a driver following their truck called police to report an overwhelming odor of freshly cut weed. Officers estimated there to be between 1000 and 1500 plants, weighing up to half a ton.

The strong odor of freshly cut marijuana is apparently difficult to disguise, judging from the advice this woman got when her husband brought home a friend's  mattress. It's not clear why the two men would drive around without trying to hide the odor at all.

In other marijuana news, the police destroyed about half the hemp plants from a Wageningen University research project, mistakenly believing them to be marijuana. Wageningen U. in the Netherlands is a highly respected school specializing in life science studies, including plant research.

This particular project was studying the use of hemp as a source of fiber for textiles and paper, the way cotton is commonly used today. Though hemp and marijuana plants are in the same family, the THC content in industrial hemp is 25 to 100 times less than marijuana, making its street value as a drug roughly zero. The plants can be distinguished visually because the hemp is grown for its stalk, while marijuana for its leaves, so the hemp plants are significantly taller, with leaves only at the top.

You would think that police officers in a country like the Netherlands, where it is legal to possess up to 5 grams of cannabis, would know the difference between the two plants. And that it was in a huge open field on university land might have given them a clue as well.

The university is busy talking to police about recovering costs.

Yahoo News Canada
Edmonton Sun
Edmonton CTV
Telegraph (via Fark)
Star Tribune
Wageningen University
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