The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pharming News

The Court of Appeal has laid down the going rate for sentencing the increasingly-prevalent crime of high-tech cannabis production in this country. Hundreds of these 'farms' are discovered each year, often because of the heat given off by the lamps used, or the pungent smell of mature plants. The ones that I have dealt with have varied from a school caretaker growing half a dozen plants in his shed (on school premises!) to full-on Vietnamese gang operations with 200 or so plants in one house. Usually the raid just captures a single peasant caretaker/gardener who is often an illegal immigrant, and has, of course, no idea who the organisers are. Sometimes the premises are full of cannabis. but otherwise deserted.
Commercial drug supply attracts enormous sentences these days, but that doesn't seem to have made a lot of difference on the street. A few years ago, the Big Two of heroin and cocaine traded, we were told for about £50,000 a kilo. Today the police and Customs estimate it at £40,000. If the price has dropped by 20% simple economics suggests that supply has increased or, much less likely, that demand has dropped.

(later) This is interesting. It shows how easy it is to get information on how to do it yourself. Video