Overeager Dutch police ruin legal cannabis experiment
THE HAGUE — Dutch police were left red-faced after swooping on what they thought was an illegal cannabis farm only to partly dismantle a scientific experiment, the university that owns the plants said.
“More than half the plants were destroyed,” Simon Vink, spokesman for the University of Wageningen in the east of the country, told AFP on Thursday.
The plants were part of a legal experiment on the suitability of cannabis fibres for the production of textiles, paper and synthetic materials, he said.
“The project had been underway for years and was in its final phase, which would have allowed us to introduced these new fibres to the market.
“We will probably suffer big losses; we are busy doing the calculations. We are busy talking to the police” about recovering costs.
Police announced Wednesday having discovered about 47,000 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of 4.4 million euros (about 6.3 million dollars).
In fact, said Vink, the plants were unfit for cannabis production due to an extremely low content of THC, the psycho-active ingredient for soft drug use.
The Netherlands decriminalised the consumption and possession of under five grammes of cannabis in 1976, though its cultivation remains illegal.
By Raw Story
September 3, 2009