Should you not know how to recognise a cannabis plant, the Southland District police have released a helpful poster:
And to aid in the hunt, Stuff reports that they’ve even issued “a helpful guide to identify cannabis operations”. Should you be blissfully ignorant about how people grow cannabis, I guess it’s always good to know that:
People carrying shovels, spades and similar equipment into the bush may be up to no good, as may people repeatedly visiting places at unusual times.
Unusual sightings of lights, head torches, and headlights in rural areas at night may be people growing marijuana.
And did you also know that cannabis can be grown inside?!?
Constantly closed curtains and blacked-out windows, with bright lights on constantly or at strange times may indicate an illegal indoor gardening operation.
I have in fact had cause to call police to alert them to a cannabis growing operation, as, despite philosophically having no issue with people growing their own cannabis, I’d really rather they didn’t do it next to my house.
You see, between my property and the river lay a long swathe of bamboo, part of an ill-maintained council reserve. And at about midday one Monday, I heard the sound of much crashing about from within the bamboo. For a good half an hour, the crashing continued, as several individuals fought their way back and forth, never managing to emerge in the grass at the other end. Occasionally, out would ring the sound of a spade attempting to unsuccessfully dig through bamboo roots.
Eventually, they disappeared back from whence they had come, at which point I ventured down to check out what on earth they’d been up to. It was, of course, an attempt at cultivating cannabis, although they’d eventually given up on the spade-work and simply left several containers filled with dirt and young plants. They’d attempted to conceal the containers, using a screen of fallen bamboo, but this was largely unsuccessful due to one of the containers being a bright pink plastic box. Bright pink is not easy colour to disguise in the wild…
And so I called the local constabulary, who kindly came and took away the plants and their various containers. For ‘twould have been most unfortunate for the police to have located by other means a cannabis-growing operation right in front of a local defence lawyer’s house…
So keep an eye out, oh law abiding populace, for those with spades, head torches or constantly closed curtains. And remember also this further piece of enlightened advice from the Southern District police: a “distinctive smell” coming from rural areas or properties is another obvious sign. No, really?