“It was a weed plantation.”
It was not the usual kind of text message I expected to receive from my girlfriend during an average working day but it certainly explained the small collection of police and security vans I had seen parked outside our apartment building that morning.
“They broke the door down early in the morning and found over 500 cannabis plants all set up with heat lamps,” she informed me upon my return home later, relaying information from a neighbour.
It also explained the loud banging that had woke me up at five in the morning. It had not been an insomniac handyman doing some early renovation. It had been the police forcefully entering one of the apartments in our building as they carried out a drug bust.
“No one was there though. They don’t even live there. They just use the place for growing weed.”
That ruined my metal image of a tall blond Dutchman dressed like Al Pacino in Scarface, standing in the middle of his two bedroom marble decorated apartment, screaming, “Zeg hallo tegen mijn kleine vriend,” before he opened fire upon the finest of the Dutch police force with a machine gun as they tried to take him down.
“All the plants were two weeks away from cultivation. The only reason they found it was because the watering system had started to leak through to the apartment below.”
That just proves that you should never short change a plumber.
When I had first seen all the activity outside in the morning there had also been a large white van reversing up to one of our apartment building’s exits (the one next to ours). At the time I had thought an eviction was being carried out and they were getting ready to throw some one’s furniture into the van, not 500 plants worth of ganja.
“They were carrying cannabis plants out of the building all morning so the fumes started to fill up the stairwell and apartments. Our neighbour said she has been feeling high all day.”
I imagined that a few of our other neighbours had probably experienced the same. I imagined the old couple from 212 having an attack of the munchies while calling each other dude, the normally hyperactive child from 204 being extremely calm as he discovered a much deeper level of philosophical meaning to Sponge Bob Square Paints, the old lady from 234 no longer complaining about her arthritis and the little puppy from 201 suddenly developing a taste for Bob Marley music and dreadlocks.
Now that everything is over there is a big anti-drug sign displaying a cannabis leaf with a red line through it stuck to the window of the former weed growing apartment, declaring that a drug bust recently took place there. It looks slightly like a ‘For Sale’ sign from a somewhat questionable real estate agency of college kids. It’s very nice of the police to put it there but it does not really help us with our plans to sell our apartment if potential buyers see it (unless they are interested in starting their own ‘greenhouse’).
“Legally you’re allowed to have five plants…”
Maybe the ex-owner of the apartment had miss placed a decimal point somewhere but somehow I doubted it.
“…so we were joking that it was a shame we could not have taken five plants each,” she finished.
Joking? Or spotting a hole in the market now that the local marijuana plantation has been taken down?