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Europe: German Police Use Grow Shop Customer Lists in Massive Marijuana Garden Busts

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #521)
Consequences of Prohibition

German police Monday unleashed a massive crackdown on marijuana growers, raiding more than 200 gardens in an effort that involved police forces from 16 regional states and some 1,500 police investigators. There is no word yet on the number of arrests.

According to the Times of London, the trigger for the raids was the increasing popularity of a grow shop that has been selling equipment over the Internet. The paper reported that at least some of the raids were based on information drawn from the shops' customer lists.

But also arousing the concern of German authorities was what they described as increasing interest among Dutch marijuana traders in growing outside the Netherlands, where the conservative national government has been trying to move the country away from its decades-long policy of pragmatic tolerance of the herb.

"In the old days, hash farmers were almost always on the Dutch side of the border, but since the Netherlands got tougher we have been saddled with the problem," Ulrich Schulze of the Essen Customs and excise authority told the paper.

Although marijuana remains illegal in Germany, German police typically treat it with some tolerance, although that varies from state to state. German police are generally stretched to thin to control marijuana grows, Schulze said, but they could resort to using helicopters to look for outdoor grows. But most German grows are indoors.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

...Trying to make all marijuana ppl into criminals why not shut down every economy due to the prohibition? So nothing progresses at all. Because that's exactly what they're doing.

Conservatives have made criminals out of everyone yet they protect only themselves within the politics community. Also they get upset when a cop like Barry Cooper arrests sons and or daughters or spouses of mayors etc. for methamphetamines, acid, ghb, etc.


Fri, 02/01/2008 - 8:58am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Anonymous, placing people in boxes, as you should realize, causes division. I am a conservative who has compassion and understanding, with a hunger for true freedom in this country. Legalize marijuana for all people, especially the sick. Understanding and compassion is what we need in life, and believe me for all that I have been through, I do understand your frustration and hold nothing against you. Someone needs to hear the cry for help from the sick in the country and quit playing politics with peoples lives.

Fri, 02/01/2008 - 10:15am Permalink
Treasa J (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I don't see a problem with legalizing medicinal marijuana. The FDA could just put warning labels on the product just like they do with alcohol, cigarettes, and perscription drugs. And then Kansas could get whatever money back that it costs to pass the bill and then some. Everyone is happy.

Sun, 03/21/2010 - 3:38pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

When are they going to fire up the gas chambers and furnaces?

Fri, 02/01/2008 - 12:36pm Permalink
Malkavian (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

it's probably a good while after the Americans start barbecuing their population. To make things feasible they could channel all this Soylent Green fertilizer towards the grow shops to make a steady supply of "drug dealers".

Tue, 02/05/2008 - 5:26am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I know this is article is a bit old, but it show again how corrupt politicians are. This was a great move to drive people even further underground. No one is so stupid as to think that this made any difference to those who want to smoke weed. It just alienates more people towards the state. Our governments are so corrupt that hardly anyone has faith in the leaders. Now we can't even buy something at a shop without worrying whether the gestapo will find out. They must have been very proud of themselves for busting some people at home with a few plants and maybe they even got some small growers with a few hundred plants. At huge expense to the tax payer, they can say that the busts have saved the poor innocent people from the "horrors" of smoking weed. Yup, the people should go straight down to the government authorized liquor store for some legal drug called alcohol which kills thousands, and get some legal tobacco also that kills millions. Both of which are taxed to excessive amounts. Our self serving political wimp leaders should have some courage and just admit the reason marijuana is illegal is because they can't tax it like cigarettes. If they do make it legal, then sure as hell they will try to make it illegal to grow at home so they can tax it better. I am not against having police or having laws. I am against unjust laws that are obviously not working. Marijuana is a drug as are cigarettes and alcohol. To use it without consideration for others should not be tolerated the same as cigarette smoking in public places is now being stopped in many countries. To say marijuana is the "gateway" drug is complete crap. Cigarettes are the gateway drug. To continue to keep weed illegal is ridiculous and the law needs to be challenged on this point. When some big companies figure out how to make serious money selling weed, I can guarantee they will pay the politicians to make laws legalizing it in their favor. On a side note: This site says my email address is kept private. Ya crap it is. The same way the cops got the mailing list of the customers of that grow shop, if they think I am growing weed they will get my email and name and address and pay me a visit. I can say what I want because I haven't smoked weed for over 26 years. Hopefully one day enough people will understand the need for change concerning marijuana and how to legalize it while still protecting the rights of all others, as they are doing for cigarettes slowly. Although I personally don't care if it is legal or not as I don't use it, when I see people being called criminals and prosecuted for smoking a weed, it just makes me sick and so I comment. All the best :)

Tue, 08/25/2009 - 11:23am Permalink

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