Irish Police Seize More Than 250 Pounds of Weed

Police in the Republic of Ireland announced this week that law enforcement officers seized more than 250 pounds of cannabis as part of an ongoing effort to target organized crime activity in the Dublin area. In a statement released on Tuesday, the garda (Irish national police force) said that the seizure resulted in the arrest of two men, who are being held pending further investigation.

The seizure was carried out as part of an ongoing investigation related to Operation Tara, a garda campaign to target serious organized crime activity in the Dublin Region. On Monday, officers intercepted two vehicles in Tallaght, a suburb of the capital city, leading to the search of a house in nearby Knocklyon. The action led to the seizure of about 120 kilograms (nearly 265 pounds) of cannabis, which the law enforcement agency said has an estimated street value of more than €2 million (more than $2.1 million).

“Personnel attached to the Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) supported by the Special Crime Task Force (SCTF), intercepted two vehicles in the Tallaght area and searched a residential address in the Knocklyon area,” a garda spokesperson said in a statement to the media. “During the course of these searches, 120kg of cannabis herb with an estimated street sale value of €2.4m was seized.”

Police noted that two men in their 40s had been arrested in conjunction with the seizure of the illicit cannabis. The men are currently being held on suspicion of drug trafficking charges as the investigation continues. The weed seized in the operation has been sent to a laboratory for further analysis.

Courtesy of the Garda

Public Pushes Back On Prohibition

The garda publicized the seizure on social media, noting in a Twitter post that the agency is “#KeepingPeopleSafe.” But other users on the platform questioned the public safety value of the police operation.

“Safe from what?” asked one Twitter user. “There would [have] been a few lads heading to shops for munchies after a few joints, do we really need to be safe from that or do you think there is bigger and more serious crime we should be kept safe from first.”

People commenting on social media also pushed back on the estimated street value of the seized cannabis provided by law enforcement, suggesting that the figure given is ten times what the confiscated weed is actually worth.

“In Canada where Cannabis is legal, regulated and taxed, this 120kg would be worth about CAD$400k and 5% of that would have gone to the gov in tax,” a Twitter user commented. “It’s also packaged a whole lot better than that! CAD$400k is around €250k or 10% of that valuation.”

Weed Legalization Bill Under Consideration

This week’s seizure of illicit marijuana in Ireland comes amid a renewed debate over cannabis prohibition in the country. Late last year, Gino Kenny, a lawmaker known as a Teachta Dála (TD) and a member of Ireland’s People Before Profit political party, proposed legislation that would legalize the possession of up to seven grams of cannabis and 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrates for personal use.

“The Bill is quite moderate. It amends existing legislation that dates back 42 years,” Kenny said during a November debate in the Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Irish Parliament. “Forty-two years is a very long time. I believe the existing legislation is out of date and out of time. We need a different narrative around drug reform.”

“I hope the Government can support this legislation,” he continued. “It is timely. Different parts of the world are looking at different models which do not criminalize people and which take a harm-reduction approach. I look forward to the debate.”

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Mexico Seizes 630,000 Fentanyl Pills in Record Bust

Mexican authorities seized a massive cache of fentanyl pills this week in what they are describing as a record-setting bust. 

The country’s Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday that the “Mexican Army personnel seized a fentanyl pill manufacturing center and the laboratory with the largest methamphetamine production capacity in the municipality of Culiacán, Sinaloa,” which is located in the northwestern part of Mexico.

The raid, which was carried out on Tuesday, yielded “629,138 pills of probable fentanyl, weighing approximately 68,576 kilograms,” government officials said in the announcement. 

The Ministry of Defense listed the soldiers’ other findings in the raid: “Approximately 128.03 kg of possible granulated fentanyl; Approximately 100 kg of possible methamphetamine; Approximately 750 kg of probable tartaric acid; Approximately 275 kg of possible mannitol; Approximately 225 kg of probable caustic soda; [and] 28 organic synthesis reactors.”

“Due to the number of reactors, the laboratory is the one with the largest synthetic drug production capacity that has been recorded historically and during the present administration,” the authorities said in the announcement

The defense ministry said that while “carrying out intelligence work to strengthen the rule of law in the country and detect criminal organizations with a presence in said federal entity, military personnel obtained information about a property and an area on the land that was used as a laboratory for the production of drugs in the Municipality of Culiacán, Sin.”

“Derived from the above and from the operational planning, elements of the Mexican Army carried out ground reconnaissance in the vicinity of Pueblos Unidos, municipality of Culiacán, Sin., where they located a production center and a clandestine laboratory for the production of synthetic drugs, for which military personnel implemented a security device,” the ministry said.

The announcement continued: “What was insured was made available to the competent authorities, in order to carry out the corresponding investigations and expert actions to confirm the type and quantity of drugs, as well as chemical substances.

These actions were carried out in strict adherence to the rule of law and with full respect for human rights. In this way, the Mexican Army reaffirms the indeclinable decision of the federal government to continue acting against organized crime, meeting the needs that society demands; Likewise, it endorses its commitment to ensure and safeguard the well-being of citizens, guaranteeing the peace and security of the population.”

The historic bust comes at a time when the United States is also struggling to contain the fentanyl trade within its own borders.

As CBS News noted, Tuesday’s bust “came on the same day that the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the huge number of U.S. fentanyl overdoses that occur annually, currently around 70,000,” with the committee chairman, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, pressing Mexico to step up its efforts to combat the problem.

“This means asking Mexico to do more to disrupt the criminal organizations from producing and trafficking fentanyl, although a politicized judiciary and incidents of Mexican security forces colluding with drug cartels will make that difficult,” the senator said, as quoted by CBS News.

CBS also noted that “Mexican drug cartels produce the opioid from precursor chemicals shipped from China, and then press it into pills counterfeited to look like Xanax, Percocet or Oxycodone,” and that people often “take the pills without knowing they contain fentanyl and can suffer deadly overdoses.”

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than “150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.”

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New Zealand Officials Seize Half a Billion Dollars Worth of Cocaine

Officials in New Zealand announced this week that they have completed a massive seizure of cocaine at sea, calling it a “major financial blow” to producers and traffickers of the drug. 

Authorities there said on Wednesday that the seizure was a part of “Operation Hyrdros,” with New Zealand Police working in partnership with both New Zealand Customs Service and the New Zealand Defence Force.

The announcement said that “no arrests have been made at this stage,” but that “enquiries will continue into the shipment including liaison with our international partners.”

Members of those units intercepted “3.2 tonnes of cocaine afloat” in the Pacific Ocean. NZ Customs Service Acting Comptroller Bill Perry said that the “sheer scale of this seizure is estimated to have taken more than half a billion dollars’ worth of cocaine out of circulation.”

(The news agency United Press International described the seizure as a “3.5 ton haul of cocaine with a street value of $317 million in a major anti-drugs operation carried out in the middle of the Pacific.”)

Courtesy of New Zealand Police

“Customs is pleased to have helped prevent such a large amount of cocaine causing harm in communities here in New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere in the wider Pacific region,” Perry said. “It is a huge illustration of what lengths organised crime will go to with their global drug trafficking operations and shows that we are not exempt from major organised criminal drug smuggling efforts in this part of the world.” 

NZ Police Commissioner Andrew Coster called it “one of the single biggest seizures of illegal drugs by authorities in this country.”

“There is no doubt this discovery lands a major financial blow right from the South American producers through to the distributors of this product,” Coster said.

Coster added, “While this disrupts the syndicate’s operations, we remain vigilant given the lengths we know these groups will go to circumvent coming to law enforcement’s attention.”

The authorities said in the announcement on Wednesday that “eighty-one bales of the product have since made the six-day journey back to New Zealand aboard the Royal New Zealand Navy vessel HMNZS Manawanui, where they will now be destroyed.”

It is believed that “given the large size of the shipment it will have likely been destined for the Australian market,” according to the announcement. 

Coster said that Operation Hyrdos “was initiated in December 2022, as part of our ongoing close working relationship with international partner agencies to identify and monitor suspicious vessels’ movements.”

Some of the packets of drugs had four-leaf clover or Batman identifying stickers. Courtesy of New Zealand Police

“I am incredibly proud of what our National Organised Crime Group has achieved in working with other New Zealand agencies, including New Zealand Customs Service and the New Zealand Defence Force. The significance of this recovery and its impact cannot be underestimated,” Coster said.

“We know the distribution of any illicit drug causes a great amount of social harm as well as negative health and financial implications for communities, especially drug users and their families,” Coster added.

The announcement said that Coster noted that the “operation continues already successful work New Zealand authorities are achieving in working together and continues to lessen the impacts of transnational crime worldwide.”

New Zealand Defence Force Joint Forces commander Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour said that his unit “had the right people and the right capabilities to provide the support required and it was great to work alongside the New Zealand Police and the New Zealand Customs Service.”

“We were very pleased with the result and are happy to be a part of this successful operation and proud to play our part in protecting New Zealand,” Gilmour said.

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British Police Find 6,000 Cannabis Plants in Abandoned Tire Factory

British police this week reportedly uncovered thousands of cannabis plants in an abandoned tire factory in what is being called one of the largest weed busts in the area. 

The British newspaper The Independent reported that law enforcement in the otherwise sleepy Lincolnshire village “busted one of their largest ever cannabis factories after discovering 6,000 plants inside an old tyre factory – believed to be worth around £6.5 million.”

“This is one of the largest cannabis grows we have located in Lincolnshire to date and follows the excellent development of intelligence,” said detective inspector Richard Nethercott, as quoted by the Lincolnshire World.

“Cannabis production is far from being harmless: it is often linked to wider, organised criminality which is why tackling the wider issue of drug supply is one of our key priorities. Lincolnshire Police remains determined to crack down on criminal enterprises and remove drugs from circulation.”

According to the BBC, three men “aged 28, 38, and 42, all of no fixed address, were taken into custody following the raid,” and the plants were “removed and destroyed.”

The raid “took place at the property situated behind a countryside village pub at around 8am on Tuesday,” according to The Independent, which said that the property was the location of “the Old Kings Head Tyre Factory in Hubberts Bridge, near Boston.”

While the raid may have been remarkable for Lincolnshire, it falls under a familiar story genre here at High Times, which has chronicled some of the more peculiar cannabis busts from across the pond. 

In 2019, we told you about the 120-year-old Victorian style theater in London that was the site of a $51 million marijuana grow operation. 

Authorities there surmised that the grow site had been operational for roughly a decade in the bowels of the old Broadway Theater, which was built in 1897.

A spokesperson for the London police said that “officers were called to an address following reports of a disturbance.” 

“They discovered a large number of cannabis plants along with equipment used in the cultivation of cannabis in an area beneath the residential properties. Three men, aged 28, 45, and 47, and a 36-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of the cultivation of cannabis. They have all been released under investigation,” the spokesperson said at the time.

A couple years later, the British were at it again, this time discovering an illicit grow operation at a 17th century castle in Somerset, located in southern England.

That same year, in 2021, a massive growhouse was discovered in London’s financial district, which had gone quiet amid the lockdown restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Police at the time responded to reports of a pungent cannabis odor in the area.

“This is the first cannabis factory in the City, no doubt being set up in response to fewer people being out and about during the pandemic who might have noticed any unusual activity,” Andy Spooner, the London detective overseeing the investigation, said at the time. “However, this demonstrates that City of London Police continues to actively police the Square Mile, bearing down on any crime committed here.” 

And last year, the English village of West Parley provided yet another example after locals there discovered a half-dozen suspicious plants growing in a community garden. 

The marijuana plants were tough to miss, with one local remarking at the time that they were “towering above the bedding plants.”

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Guyana Authorities Seize Weed Shipment from the U.S.

Customs officials in Guyana last week intercepted and seized a box of cannabis that had been shipped from the United States. 

The Customs Anti Narcotic Unit (CANU), the top drug enforcement agency in the South American country, said in an announcement that its officers “were contacted on January 20, 2023, after packages of suspected cannabis were discovered in a box shipped from the United States at the Muneshwar shipping limited.”

“CANU officers arrived on the scene and conducted additional searches before taking possession of the box,” the agency said in the announcement, which was posted on Facebook. “The box was then transported to CANU headquarters in the presence of the employee of the shipping company, who made the discovery. The suspected cannabis tested positive for cannabis and amounted to 1.920 kgs.”

The Customs Anti Narcotic Unit said that investigations into the package are ongoing.

Despite marijuana’s ubiquity in Guyana’s warm climate, the country’s government takes a hardline against weed, strictly prohibiting its cultivation, sale and possession. 

Courtesy of CANU

According to the Guyana Standard, the Customs Anti Narcotic Unit “conducted several raids and was able to clear 3,403.68 kilogrammes of narcotics amounting to a street value of $1.1 billion off the streets” last year. 

“This represents a 68.26 percent increase in comparison to 2,022.88 kilogrammes of narcotics amounting to $634 million in 2021,” the outlet reported. “There were 24 cases of cocaine, 80 cases of cannabis, four cases of ecstasy, and two cases of methamphetamine in 2022.”

On the same day as the seizure of the cannabis package in Muneshwar, the Customs Anti Narcotic Unit announced that a woman had been “sentenced to four years in prison and fined $53.1 million for cannabis possession by Magistrate Leron Daly after admitting to having 59 kgs of cannabis in her possession for the purpose of trafficking.”

According to the Guyana Standard, the country’s government “has been investing millions of dollars in the security sector to provide a safe and secure environment for Guyanese,” including “purchasing vehicles for the Guyana Police Force (GPF) while training police officers and allocating half a million dollars to the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) to advance its work.”

CANU was “established through a Cabinet decision in 1994 and was implemented in August 1995,” according to the law enforcement agency’s official website.

“The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act, 1988 was amended in 1999 to facilitate the legal operation of the Unit and to give it the same authority to enforce it, as the Guyana Police Force,” the site explains. “In April 2001, Guyana and the United States signed a Shiprider Agreement to suppress illicit traffic by sea and air. The agreement seeks to reduce the ability of illicit narcotics traffickers to elude maritime law enforcement agencies within and outside the territorial waters of Guyana, as well as to strengthen Guyana’s maritime law enforcement capabilities. On July 23, 2003, the National Assembly passed the Maritime Drug Trafficking (Suppression) Bill 2003. The Bill … provide[d] the legal framework for the implementation of provisions of international, hemispheric, regional and bilateral agreements, of which Guyana is a part. The Agency is also linked to INTERPOL, one of the world’s biggest coordinators of drug interdiction agencies. The Narcotics Unit also plays an active role in the World Customs Organisation. The Government of Guyana and the Government of Colombia signed an agreement that allowed Guyanese law enforcement officers to benefit from anti-narcotics training.”

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Nigerian Customs Authorities Seize Nearly 600 Pounds of Weed

Customs authorities in Nigeria announced this week that a patrol had intercepted nearly 600 pounds of cannabis along a busy highway in the central part of the West African nation. Niger/Kogi Comptroller Busayo Kadejo said on Tuesday that 317 packages totaling 263.6 kilograms (more than 581 pounds) of illicit marijuana had been seized by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS). 

Following the seizure, the cannabis was handed over to Barrister Haruna Kwetishe, the Niger State Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), in Minna, the capital of Niger state. 

The cannabis was discovered by an Area Command of the Customs Service patrol along the busy highway between the cities of Lokoja and Abuja in the central region of Nigeria. Kadejo noted that the suspected cannabis smugglers had fled after abandoning the truck carrying the marijuana and were still at large.

Cannabis is illegal in Nigeria, with penalties for possession of marijuana ranging from 12 years behind bars to life in prison for large-scale trafficking. Despite the risk, however, cannabis is one of the most popular illicit drugs in the country, and Nigeria is one of the largest West African producers of illicit marijuana.

Following the discovery, Kadejo commended the work of the customs officers that resulted in the seizure of the cannabis. But he also noted that illicit drugs have become deeply ingrained in Nigerian society.

“This occasion has come with a dual feeling and sadness and joy in my heart. First and foremost is the fact that some people are working tirelessly to build this nation while others are engaged in acts that are inimical to the development of the same country,” said Kadejo. “I am glad that due to the diligent application of self to duty, our officials were able to intercept these illicit packages. If the packages had escaped our eyes, they would have helped in the execution and sustenance of crimes such as banditry, kidnapping, thuggery and other social services.”

Suspected Smugglers On The Run

Noting that the suspected cannabis smugglers had escaped and fled into the bush after their truck was stopped by customs officers, Kadejo warned area residents to be alert for their presence. He also said that the NCS is determined to put cannabis smugglers in the country out of business.

“I strongly feel it is important that as the general elections are drawing closer, it is the responsibility of all and sundry to be at alert and report suspicious activities to law enforcement agencies,” Kadejo said. 

The local comptroller noted that he had received the approval of the Comptroller General of the Customs to transfer the seized cannabis to the Niger state command of the NDLEA, adding that “this shows the synergy that exists between the Nigeria Customs Service and the NDLEA.”

After accepting the seized cannabis, Kwetishe commended the customs service and said that the marijuana would be destroyed so it would not make its way to the illicit market.

“What the Customs has done is a clear case of synergy between the security agencies. It is a great job that the Customs have done,” said Kwetishe. “It has reassured us that Nigeria as a country is a project for everybody not necessarily for the security agencies. Anyone with information should call our attention to it and it will save lives.”

The NDLEA state commander also noted that any politicians using cannabis as an incentive to gain the support of young people in upcoming elections would be jailed until after ballots are cast.

“We assure the society that we will make Nigeria safe. Particularly in this period where drugs are used to ginger thuggery. I want to warn politicians that anybody in Niger state that wants to use drugs in this political era, NDLEA is able and ready to reign you in,” Kwetishe warned. “We will arrest you. You may not even see the elections. We will keep you till after the elections.” 

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Authorities Seize More Than 2 Tons of Cannabis in Morocco

Law enforcement officials in Morocco completed a massive drug bust this week in the southern part of the country. 

The Moroccan General Directorate of National Security said on Tuesday “that police dismantled an international drug trafficking network,” as reported by Morocco World News, which noted that the raid resulted in the arrest of “five suspects aged between 24 and 44 for their alleged involvement in the network.”

The General Directorate of National Security, or DGSN, which serves as Morocco’s national police force, provided details of the operation on Twitter, where it said that a “joint security operation between the judicial police and the interests of the General Directorate of National Territorial Surveillance … resulted in the abortion of an attempt to smuggle international goods of two tons and 120 kilograms of shira, and the seizure of an inflatable boat and equipment used in maritime navigation.” 

According to Morocco World News, the country “has been intensifying its efforts against drug trafficking.”

“Last year, Moroccan police handled 82,950 cases related to the possession and trafficking of drugs. Security services sent 103,589 people to court, including 261 foreigners,” the outlet reported. “During the same year, police seized 191 tonnes and 158 kilograms of cannabis, which is one of the most common drugs in Morocco. The amount of cannabis seized in 2021, represents a decrease of 12% compared to 2020.”

The stepped-up level of enforcement comes at a time of significant change to Morocco’s laws governing cannabis. Long regarded as one of the world’s leading producers of cannabis, Moroccan lawmakers last year passed a law “authorizing the therapeutic use of cannabis, a major reform for this North African country considered to be one of the leading producers of hashish in the world,” Agence France-Presse reported at the time.

“The objective of the bill… is to ‘reconvert illicit crops that destroy the environment into legal activities that are sustainable and generate value and employment,’” Agence France-Presse explained. “The deputies of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), at the head of the government coalition, were the only ones to vote against the text presented by the executive, denouncing ‘hastiness and risk of exploitation during the electoral campaigns’ for the regional ones in September and the legislative ones at the beginning of October.”

In October, the country issued the first round of cannabis cultivation permits. The newly formed National Agency for the Regulation of Cannabis Activities (ANRAC), which is acting as the chief regulator of the Moroccan cannabis industry, issued 10 permits for both production and cultivation. 

Morocco World News reported at the time that, following the first licenses, “ANRAC will begin authorizing farmers to legally cultivate and produce cannabis within a tightly regulated framework of agricultural cooperatives.”

“This procedure will take place at the provincial level in the provinces of Al Hoceima, Chefchaouen, and Taounate, in accordance with the expressed needs of the industry,” the outlet reported. “ANRAC is still investigating the market’s prospects in order to produce sector-wide growth and make the conversion of farmers from illegal to legal activities easier, the statement concluded.”

The outlet provided more background on the policy change

“Over the past years, Morocco has shifted its approach towards putting in place a legal framework to allow legal cannabis production while fighting illicit cultivation and commercialization of the popular product. In June this year, Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit participated in the first meeting of ANRAC. The meeting’s goal was to discuss the final stages of the implementation of Law 13-21, which details the authorized uses of cannabis. The meeting also authorized the agency’s initial steps, which included the establishment of the first cooperatives for the production of local medicinal cannabis. Morocco’s regulation 13-21 hopes to ensure that farmers switch to legal cannabis cultivation in order to increase their revenue and improve labor conditions, but does little to capitalize on Morocco’s massive illicit cannabis production which supplies 70% of Europe’s cannabis needs.”

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Police in Sweden Seize Millions in Drugs Outside Capital

In one of Europe’s most intolerant countries when it comes to drug laws, a massive drug operation was dismantled Thursday. It’s the latest move in a series of efforts to curb drug traffic and organized crime in the country.

Swedish police say that on December 1, forces seized around 500 kilograms (1,102 pounds) of drugs in a city near Stockholm, with a total street value of about 80 million kronor or $7.6 million USD.

Police say that 260 kilograms (573 pounds)—the largest portion of drugs—was amphetamine, and the rest of the types of drugs were not specified.

In Tyreso, south of the Swedish capital Stockholm, three men were arrested on suspicion of serious drug offenses. Police also searched another house at a location in Tyreso where a massive trove of drugs was found in a storage room in an apartment building.

“This is a very large seizure,” Susanne Wikland, deputy chief in the Stockholm city police area, told The Associated Press. Wikland added that it was the result of “aggressive work over a longer period of time,” adding that drug traffic is “large and [expensive] serious organized crime.”

It follows a similar operation last month, when police in Stockholm detained 21 people and seized cocaine and cannabis with an estimated street value of between 50 and 100 million kronor, or $4.8 to $9.6 million USD.

Zero Tolerance for Drugs and Medical Cannabis in Sweden

This is bad news for the men involved, given Sweden’s particularly harsh stance on drugs: Transform Drug Policy Foundation reported that while cannabis and drug laws loosen in Europe—pretty much all around Sweden—the country maintains its zero tolerance policies

“… The degree to which Sweden’s low prevalence of drug use can be attributed to its repressive approach is highly questionable, as research consistently shows that wider social, economic and cultural factors are the key drivers of drug prevalence—not the harshness of enforcement,” Transform Drug Policy Foundation writes.

Some organizations believe Sweden’s zero tolerance policy increases harm. Traveling performers like Drake learned this the hard way. It’s a stark difference from neighboring Denmark, which has experimented in the past with innovations like drug consumption rooms.

The country also isn’t too keen on medical cannabis. A recent study conducted by researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden attacked “positive coverage of cannabis” despite what they call poor results. In the study, researchers claimed that medical cannabis was no better for pain relief than a placebo, and suggested that medical cannabis is a myth.

Sweden’s Zero Policy on Drugs Doesn’t Work

But is Sweden’s strict approach to drug use even working? That’s debatable. And moreover, blow is especially popular in the Nordic country.

A study released by national broadcaster SVT found that cocaine in Sweden, over the years, has become more common, cheaper, and more pure. Forbes reports that the number of drug busts in general has increased by almost 300 percent since 2012, mirroring a rise in the number of drug busts by customs. In 2018, Swedish customs seized 485 kg of cocaine, mostly via two major seizures of 298 kg and 98 kg.

The report also reveals the drug has led to more deaths. According to data from the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine, cocaine was said to be the cause of death in 20 cases compared to just one a few years ago.

Sweden’s zero tolerance approach on drugs might affect alcohol consumption as well. College students in Sweden also report heavier drinking than U.S. college students, where drug laws have been loosened often.

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Police in Spain Make Largest Ever Seizure of Cannabis

Spanish police said over the weekend that they had completed the largest international seizure of cannabis. 

The Guardia Civil announced on Saturday that it had dismantled an organization with more than 32 tons of bud stored throughout the country in Toledo, Ciudad Real, Valencia, and Asturias.

The raid was known as the “Jardines operation.”

“The Civil Guard has seized the largest cache of packaged marijuana found so far. The Jardines operation has concluded with the seizure of 32,370.2 kilograms of marijuana buds, the largest seizure of this substance, not only in Spain, but also internationally. Its equivalence in complete plants would be approximately 1,100,000 copies,” the police said.

Or, as the BBC put it, the “weight of the seized plants is roughly equivalent to more than five adult African elephants.”

The police said that through “a complex business network, [the suspects] sent vacuum-packed marijuana throughout the national territory, as well as to Switzerland, Holland, Germany, and Belgium, among other European countries.”

“The twenty detainees – nine men and eleven women between the ages of 20 and 59 – were part of an organization with offices in Toledo, Ciudad Real, Valencia and Asturias, which controlled the entire drug production and distribution process,” the police said in the announcement on Saturday. “The investigation began with an inspection by the Civil Guard of several industrial hemp plantations in Villacañas (Toledo). The main investigated owned a company with which they acquired the seeds. A second transported and planted them. Another company was in charge of the care, maintenance, collection and drying of the specimens.” 

“Finally, the initial company was in charge of acquiring the already dried plants with the buds and stored them in two warehouses located in the province of Valencia,” they continued “From there, the detainees processed the genre, separating the buds and vacuum packaging them in different formats to send them both to places in Spanish territory and to European countries, mainly Switzerland, Holland, Germany and Belgium.”

According to police, the subsequent raid took place last month in Ciudad Real, with agents from Toledo ultimately discovering “some 37,000 plants distributed in four greenhouses and in the process of drying.”

“The three people who were at the time of the performance were arrested. In the ship, the Civil Guard also finds four tons of marijuana stings stored in several bags. The destination of all the merchandise was the two warehouses in Valencia,” they explained. “In this last province, the Civil Guard has intervened 30,530 kilos of buds, 20 kilos of pollen -all vacuum packed-, 21,600 plants in the process of drying and 231,200 packs of marijuana buds. Documentation has also been found that accredited the existence of several more plantations, machinery for processing, elaboration and packaging, highlighting above all two machines for the extraction of pollen. In this record 15 people have been arrested.”

“Finally, the third and last phase of the exploitation, has consisted of a new inspection in Asturias. The analysis of the plants that were there has also tested positive for psychoactive. 4,000 plants have been seized and two have been arrested,” the police added.

In June, lawmakers in Spain approved a measure clearing the way for medical cannabis to be available by the end of this year.

Patients with conditions such as cancer, pain, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, and epilepsy, among others, will be able to receive a prescription, with experts estimating that hundreds of thousands of individuals in Spain could potentially take advantage of the treatment.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, June 9, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// California Governor Says Marijuana Legalization Is A ‘Civil Rights’ Matter Amid Mass Protests Over Racial Injustice (Marijuana Moment)

// Schwazze To Buy Star Buds Locations In Colorado (Green Market Report)

// Oregon Sold a Record $103 Million Worth of Legal Weed Last Month (Merry Jane)

These headlines are brought to you by Natural Order Supply, one of the nation’s premier cannabis cultivation supply companies dedicated to streamlining cultivation and helping industrial hemp farmers calculate their price-per-plant cost. They have everything from lights to harvest supplies to cultivation advice!

// Iowa Senate approves new medical marijuana bill, heads to Gov. Reynolds’ desk (Siouxland Proud)

// Burglary-related losses total millions as cannabis companies pick up the pieces; insurance coverage unclear (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Ontario Cannabis Store report shows Aurora leading flower sales, COVID-19 sales boost (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Illinois offering $31 million in cannabis tax revenue to repair drug war damage (Leafly)

// Vermont Senate Votes To Double Amount Of Marijuana That Can Be Possessed And Grown Without Jail Time (Marijuana Moment)

// Vireo Health, Bruce Linton Part Ways (Green Market Report)

// Judge orders sheriff in California to return seized marijuana oil, cash (Marijuana Business Daily)

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