Nieuws - 8 september 2009

Extent of damage to cannabis research still unknown

The police blunder in which a cannabis trial field belonging to Wageningen UR in the Flevopolder was damaged has taken a heavy toll on its user, Applied Plant Research (PPO). The extent of the damage is not yet known.

Last Thursday saw the police triumphantly uprooting ‘the biggest illegal cannabis farm of the Flevopolder’. With the press on the spot, the whole of the Netherlands could enjoy this enormous police success. Alas for the police, the farm turned out to be a trial field of Wageningen UR’s.
PPO teamleader Pierre Bakker could not believe his eyes. ‘What are they doing and who has given them permission to do so?’ was his first thought when he saw the police clearing the hemp field at full steam. He is still perplexed by the event. ‘My first priority was to put a stop to the destruction’, he says. ‘Luckily, that stopped quickly when I showed the right permits to the officer, who turned pale.’ But the zeal of the police had already resulted in half the field being destroyed. PPO is now busy gathering up the uprooted plants to harvest as many seeds as possible. But the police raid came two to three weeks too soon. ‘We have to wait and see how usable the seeds are before we can determine the extent of the damage’, concluded Bakker.