Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mobile Marijuana Plantations Hidden Inside Trucks

(photo and others from website

This is the Dutch equivalent of what people in the United States would call "the can-do spirit." Over here they call it the "VOC mentaliteit" _ (meaning, Far East Indies Company entrepreneurialism. The acronym is still a household word in Holland four centuries later).

The photos show a truck that's been converted to a mobile weed plantation.

Here's the link to "Weed Forum," which has more photos, but it's Dutch language.

Credit to Dutch blog GeenStijl for finding the thread. They said that the truck used generators on its axles to power the lights, but people reacting to the post dispute that.

To be honest I can't tell exactly what's going on on the website _ it sounds like the guy that posted the photos was a cop (?) who helped bust the plantation (?). It was in the Dutch city of Heerenveen, anyway, in the north.

The post reads:

"Back to Heerenveen again last night.
At 6 a.m. I got a call for two trailers and a ready-to-go container. When I got there it appeared not only was there a container standing there that was completely converted to 'igrowbox', but also there was another one next to it set up as cutting room.
Two warehouses further there were two trailers with 1,200 plants and in that space there was another, more professional cutting room set up where we found 3 kilos plus. Photos upcoming."

And then he gives some of the specs of the lighting systems, etc.

The best line was one of the reactions: "I can't believe they're deconstructing this. It belongs in a museum."

Other posters are saying stuff like, 'Ah, the electricity systems could be better arranged' (with apparently no irony!).

Now, people who don't get the nuances of Dutch drugs policy may be wondering, why on Earth are they going to all this trouble when weed is legal in the Netherlands?

The answer of course, is that weed isn't legal here. It's illegal but not prosecutable for possession of amounts of up to 5 grams (and in practice much more).

To me, this story highlights one of the most interesting _ actually the most interesting _ part of the Dutch tolerance policy. By some incredible paradoxical logic they tolerate the sale of weed, but bust the growers.

So you have a mega industry _ "coffee shops" _ who have no way to legally source their main product.

And someone will inevitably service them, because there's money to be made. That's basic market theory. The VOC spirit leads to small plantations being built in residential neighborhoods, (causing fire hazards), greenhouses, warehouses, and, apparently, trucks and shipping containers.

A majority of the previous parliament was in favor of decriminalizing growers. That would have solved a lot of problems, notably the question of what chemicals are being used in intensive growing facilities.

But it was shot down because the government feared (rightly) that tolerating both growers and sellers would be seen by the international community as outright legalization, which would give NL problems with both Brussels and Washington.

Now things are back in limbo, with the political right dreaming of criminalization (good luck) and left dreaming of legalization (not until other countries start seeing things the same way).

(this is called 'igrow keet' by the poster. I'm not sure what that means, but those are obviously buds undergoing some kind of processing.)


Unknown said...

What you see on the bottom picture is a growing medium,not buds alas.

Grtz. Aad(

Toby Sterling said...

Thanks Aad!

I guess that would be a mighty big pile of weed.