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Anorak | 90% of cannabis farmers can’t be bothered to steal electricity

90% of cannabis farmers can’t be bothered to steal electricity

by | 1st, May 2012

CANNABIS farms are big news. Sadly, the stuff remains illegal even to ill people it could help. TV home makeover shows looking to stay relevant in a recession will not feature the Marijuana Mezzanine.

But weed is being grown in homes. And we should be worried. Former policeman Phil Butler says cannabis farmers are stealing around £200m worth of electricity across the UK every year.

The Association of Chief Police Officer says police uncover more than 21 cannabis farms every day. Since, 2010, the coppers have seized 1.1 million plants. They estimate the crops’ value at £207m. Maybe the stuff could be sold as medical marijuana and the money used to pay for the criminals’ court cases and incarceration? Or they could just burn it, or give it away.

The police figures tells us that at least 15,330 cannabis farms have been in the past two years. That means each farm, on average, holds about 72 plants. But some farms are much larger. In 2010, one farm uncovered in Essex housed 8,000 plants.

Know that 25 plants is widely viewed as the legal minimum to be prosecuted for commercial cultivation. Police work on the theory that owning more than 10 plants makes you a supplier.

But what of the people just growing their own weed so they don’t have to buy it and risk arrest and problems with dealers? What if you have one or two plants? You’re still farming. Who knew being a farmer was so bloody easy. Maybe when weed becomes legal students can boost their incomes with an EU subsidy.

Mr Butler says the police rely on tip-offs. But given his figures, it seems people aren’t that bothered to tip off the coppers. It might be that not everyone cares that electricity is siphoned off to grow weed. So. Mr Butler makes it into a health and safety issue:

“These farms are essentially death traps. In one small space such as a loft or a garage you have all this electricity and gallons of water which is a lethal combination.”

He doesn’t say how many farms have caused deaths. Doubtless that will be addressed at the two-day conference to chew the fat. In attendance will be people from the emergency services, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the energy companies and the Home Office. No farmers. But there could be “experts” from Holland, where, as the BBC tells us, “scratch and sniff cards are used to educate the public about the distinctive smell associated with a cannabis farm”.

And thereby turn them into narks. Grass up a feckless, unemployed man growing some drugs to stave of his depression, symptoms of ME, MS and boredom and help the police. Or get away with smoking drugs and work in Big Government.

Here’s a question for you readers: you find a marijuana farm in an otherwise empty farm building:




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