Police officers in the northern French city of Roubaix must be starting to regret their recent efforts in confiscating so much cannabis and hash off the streets.
The 40 kilos currently stored at the police station have been emitting an “exasperating” funk that has invaded the ground floor and the first floor, French newspaper Nordéclair reported.
“My colleagues are really fed up,” local police union official Fabrice Danel told Nordéclair. “They are complaining of nausea, headaches. Some, either worried or for fun, tested themselves for marijuana. Most of them came back positive. It’s a scandal!"
The stink prompted a meeting among officials last week, but so far there has been no solution put forward. Not surprisingly, a bureaucratic funding fight seems to be at the source of the problem. The police commissioners in the area are in a dispute with the agency that would normally take away the confiscated drugs.
Apparently the local agency that is supposed to deal with the dope appears to have gone on strike, possibly as part of an effort to be given permission to take on more employees.
The agency’s chief claiming they are currently understaffed.
The situation has not left local judges with the giggles.
"Imagine that an officer, on duty or simply going home, causes an accident. A field test would show him positive for drugs and he would be arrested,” an unnamed judicial ource told Nordéclair. “I imagine a blood test would come back negative, but the officer would end up being labelled corrupt.”
The amount of seized cannabis might explain why certain pot smokers in the north of France are turning to alternative sources to get their highs – notably petals from hydrangea plants.
Earlier this month it emerged police in northern France were hunting a gang of thieves who had been pilfering hydrangea bushes from gardens across the region, much to the ire of home owners.
Captain Frédéric Evrard, spokesperson for the Nord-Pas-de-Calais regional gendarmerie blamed the economic crisis.
"With the crisis we have the impression people are now turning towards natural products, because synthetic ones are more expensive," he told Le Figaro newspaper.