Monday, August 15, 2005

Gardeners' World

The neighbours started it by complaining about the odd smell. The Police had a look and a sniff and knew right away that it was cannabis. Armed with a search warrant and a seven-pound doorkey in case they needed it, they paid a call on the nondescript suburban semi. Inside on each floor and in the loft were scores of cannabis plants being grown hydroponically under heat lamps. The electricity meter had been bypassed to disguise the very heavy power consumption of the lamps. One room had dried leaves packed in plastic bags, scales, and other paraphenalia. The only part of the house that was not full of drug-related stuff was a six-foot square bit of the kitchen, which was the living space occupied by a 28 year-old Somali.

He appeared in custody, aided by an interpreter, and we heard that he had never met the tenants of the house, having been introduced by a Somali friend. He received £40 per week pocket money and free, if cramped, accommodation in return for feeding and watering the plants.

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