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Random patrols recommended

3/14/2014

By Regina Selman Moore

There is an emerging trend in Barbados, which sees members of the Royal Barbados Police Force and their counterparts happening upon several budding marijuana plants, as they carry out other operations on the island.

Often, as the Force conducts a hunt for missing persons, the search is not successful in finding those who have disappeared or have been taken against their will, but “ganja”, as many islanders love to call it, is the find instead. This leads me to reasonably conclude that a number of bushy areas and gullies in Barbados are used as agricultural grounds for the criminal activity of planting and harvesting marijuana. A logical follow through should be that the armed forces should get together and conduct some occasional sweeps of gullies and bushy territories, with the aim of confiscating some more of these illegal plants.

Reports are that of late close to 300 cannabis plants were discovered in a bushy St. Michael area, as a missing person’s hunt was underway. Police seized close to 200 plants in St. George in another operation earlier this month, when they were on the hunt for two missing persons. The Force discovered just over 200 cannabis plants growing in a bushy area in Christ Church earlier this year as well. The plants were said to have ranged in height from five inches to five feet. Some of those plants grew as high as I am tall. I am sure I could go on and list other finds, but you get the point.

Meanwhile, Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector David Welch, has been quoted as saying that in 2012, officers uprooted over 20 000 plants, an increase of 3 000 when compared to 2011. I am not clear on the figures for last year. However, it is clear that this is a flourishing business in Barbados. Nevertheless, it is illegal business and the Force must work to root up and out such illegal activity and make a few arrests in the process.

Meanwhile, I am wondering – just wondering – if the culprits responsible for this crop were to focus on legal crops instead, the number of persons that could benefit from eating some ground provisions, instead of the unhealthy foods that pervade on the island. But alas, I suppose the legal way of growing and selling food crops is not as lucrative as pedaling and pushing illegal plant matter and so, I suspect members of the Royal Barbados Police Force will have their hands full if they do go out on a limb and conduct those random gully sweeps.

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