How do you rally public support for a criminalized herb that has killed 0 people in over 3,000 years and contributes to healing? Apparently, you sprinkle the seeds in public spaces, then watch as city officials unwittingly water the plants. This is what at least one (or potentially a group) of marijuana enthusiasts did in the small town of Powell, Wyoming.
On June 29, city employees who were tasked with watering plants in public spaces realized that they had inadvertently been tending to a marijuana plant. After realizing their mistake, they plucked the plant and took it to the police station. According to Roy Eckerdt, the city’s chief of police, at least two more plants were found within a few days. He believes the seeds were sprinkled in the city’s flower pots as a joke.
City Parks and Recreation Superintendent Del Barton told the press that the plants were difficult for his staff to distinguish. He told The Powell Times: “To be honest with you, and to be fair, without having a marijuana field testing kit, I can’t tell the difference between hemp and marijuana. But it sure looked like marijuana to me.”
As IFLScience points out, hemp and marijuana are very similar plants. Both are a variety of Cannabis sativa, which has three subtypes (indica, sativa, and ruderalis). However, hemp has such small amounts of the psychoactive component THC (roughly 0.3 percent) that it can’t get you high. Marijuana, on the other hand, has as much as 30 percent THC. Whereas hemp was bred primarily for industrial and consumer purposes, marijuana is cultivated for medical and recreational use. Their growing cycles also vary.
The Billings Gazette reports that this isn’t the first time marijuana plants were found in city planters. “We’ve had incidents in the past where, for some unknown reason, people decide to put pot seeds in the downtown – we have these large 100-gallon flower pots – and for some reason people like to put weed seeds in the flower pots,” said Barton.
Marijuana is available for medical and recreational consumption in over 25 US states now. However, in the state of Wyoming, possessing the herb can incur a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. When asked why someone would illegally plant marijuana in city planters, Eckerdt said, “My guess is that’s somebody’s sense of humor.”
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Source: The Powell Times
Image Credit: COURTESY OF THE CITY OF POWELL PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT