Police and Cannabis Thieves

Soft Secrets
16 Feb 2011

Until the present laws change however, then the Police will be forced to continue to act like Cannabis Thieves themselves when intruding on the personal growing spaces of cannabis users.

Until the present laws change however, then the Police will be forced to continue to act like Cannabis Thieves themselves when intruding on the personal growing spaces of cannabis users.

Just recently a good friend of Soft Secrets got apprehended by the Police at his home as part of a local investigation. Our friend was unfortunately found to be in possession of approximately (like whose counting?) one hundred cannabis plants (at various stages of cultivation) and approximately (again whose counting?) one hundred grams of dried cannabis flowers ready to enjoy and smoke. To add insult to our friends injury the Police were not initially looking for our friend, for their cannabis, or for evidence of cannabis cultivation at the property. This was simply a case of a mistaken identity, bad-karma that day, and fate if you believe in that stuff.

All this got us thinking more about what happens when the Police actually arrive with the purposeful intention of searching a premises they suspect is being used for the cultivation of cannabis? And how this may differ from being apprehended by Cannabis Thieves who know the premises is being used for the cultivation of cannabis? Having been close to, both situations on several occasions in the past, such recent events allowed us time to think. Which is the lesser of the two evils?

In both scenarios (Police arrest or Cannabis Thieve burglary) there is usually, at first, a loud knock at the door, followed by a brief pause for thought, and then if no-one answers, the door normally flies off its hinges. Otherwise the intruders will simply barge forward as the door is apprehensively opened to the words what do you want? / can I help you?. In either case the personal home grower is at this point, to but it bluntly, shafted!

Secondly the intruders will physically enter the property with a degree of authority, shouting loudly, and acting aggressively towards their victim(s). At which point most people will decide upon one of the following courses of action; 1) fighting the intruders off by whatever means 2) running away from the intruders quickly 3) surrendering to the intruders every command and whim. The intruders will next secure each room of the premises gestapo-style to make the area secure, while detaining everyone they encounter in the process. After which a full search of the premises is conducted.

Depending upon the intentions of the intruders (arrest or burglary) and what they find, then the outcome of the scenario above may vary dramatically. It should however be noted that both the Police and Cannabis Thieves arrive with the same intention of removing all traces of cannabis from the building. The main differences being that the Police will remove even the smallest cannabis plants from a property and Cannabis Thieves will rarely leave any cannabis flowers for the victim to smoke later after the ordeal is over (as the Police tend to) ?

Other subtleties between methods of approach include the Police's fetish for taking photographs of everything at thecrime scene they have just created. These images document 'contextual evidence' surrounding the victim and their day to day lifestyle. The Police also like to seizeevidence including cannabis paraphernalia, scales / weighing devices, baggies, computers, mobile phones, and various other pieces of information during the process of their investigations. All of which can be used later by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The context of the crime scene ultimately allows the CPS to build a case against the victim and perhaps substantiate further evidence of any 'intent to supply' cannabis to others.

Likewise Cannabis Thieves also like to take trophies from their crime scene. Less interested in collecting lifestyle information, Cannabis Thieves are more interested in attaining and keeping valuable assets. This may include personal items of jewellery, money, and items designed for home protection. The Police will also confiscate such items. However nine times out of ten the Police are obliged to return all property that was not procured through the proceeds of crime. In the past this included growing equipment (ballasts and lamps) as well as home protection items and knifes used to chop up weed and hashish. Modern times however dictate that such items are often confiscated and destroyed in accordance with new laws.

Once Cannabis Thieves are done with their victims, they normally disappear like shadows in the night. In the least, however low their actions may be, the majority of Cannabis Thieves are quick, professional, and tidy in their work. Unlike the Police who not content with rummaging through every cupboard, plant pot, and knicker-draw in the house, make a whole heap of mess in the process! Backward are the duties of the Police officer who when openly violating someone's personal property, leaves legal seeds in fridge, yet confiscates the same seeds germinating several meters away upstairs!

Moreover the Police then neglect their duty to the community and abandon their victim's freedom completely, by shackling them up in handcuffs like petty criminals. The victim is then searched by the Police and placed into a dirty vehicle to be transported to a place of detention. The victim is then searched again (often strip searched to their indignity), detained for up to eight hours, before being asked a series of pointless questions about the cultivation of cannabis. At which point the Police are looking to incriminate the victim into openly admitting that they sell or supply cannabis to others.

However bitter, it is always important to remember that the Police and to a lesser extent Cannabis Thieves are both fore-filling their perceived roles, rightly or wrongly, within society. The role of the investigating Police officer is to collect information to establish a case to present to a Judge in court. The role of the Cannabis Thieve is to make as much money as they can from their victim in as little time as possible. Sadly a visit from Cannabis Thieves can be as threatening and daunting as a visit from the Police. When approached politely and with understanding however, then the Police are rarely as violent as Cannabis Thieves have known to be. This is because the Police, unlike the Cannabis Thieve, is simply following orders.

Essentially Cannabis Thieves will always rely on the fact that their victim cannot go to the Police for protection, since in the eyes of the law they are committing a criminal act. Likewise the Police rely on the fact that they have the law on their side when pursuing evidence. Decriminalizing cannabis cultivation for personal consumption would obviously prevent or in the least help to reduce the level of victimization and criminality that is currently occurring. It would also increase the general safety and well-being of cannabis growers within society. Especially if/when cannabis grower have the confidence and the law on their side to call the Police (like any other tax paying citizen) when apprehended by criminals.

Until the present laws change however, then the Police will be forced to continue to act like Cannabis Thieves themselves when intruding on the personal growing spaces of cannabis users. Hopefully as and when the Police become more and more educated about cannabis cultivation (ironically via the very people they arrest for growing cannabis) then the distinction between personal (possession) and commercial (intent to supply) amounts of cannabis in cultivation will become more or less defined, perhaps blurred as time grows by.

Until that day arises however indoor cannabis growers should always stay focused to the reality of the fact, that there is aBig Bad world just outside their boarded up grow-room windows! A world full of criminal-types, some in badges and uniforms and others in hoodies and balaclavas (note : lazystrain wasn't always a cannabis-reporter), just waiting to create another crime scene in your local area, and take-away your beloved cannabis!

Soft Secrets