On Monday, police forces in Friesland started a campaign against illegal weed growers. As of Monday afternoon, the cops had raided at least twelve buildings as part of an ongoing investigation into large-scale weed producers in the region.
By Hans de Preter
Omrop Friesland reports that three suspects have been taken into custody and three large growing facilities have been shut down. According to the Leeuwarder Courant, one of the arrests was a 47-year-old man from Terherne who police believe is centrally involved in a large scale weed production organisation. The other suspects were a 33-year-old and a 27-year-old who were taken into custody in Heerenveen.
The largest dismantled facility was in a warehouse in Harkema, where police found 3,726 plants. Two other growers were found on industrial sites in Heerenveen and Leeuwarden. At De Buorren ship yard in Terherne, research is currently being conducted into the production of hemp plant cuttings.
“It is a whole chain: from grow shop, to cuttings, to hemp farms that we are currently rolling up,” a police spokesperson told the Leeuwarder Courant. The police were responding to tips they have received through the Meld Misdaad Anoniem, which has a website and a hotline.
The police periodically conduct wide ranging raids in the region: in September of last year, dozens of individuals were arrested on suspicion of involvement in weed production and distribution. Marijuana can be sold under strict conditions in the Netherlands, but growing it is even more carefully regulated. Although Dutch drug law permitted growing cannabis starting in 2017, anyone found growing more than five cannabis plants is subject to prosecution.