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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
do you smell that?

PSNI hands out "Scratch and Sniff" cards to combat cannabis cultivation

“It’s completely safe, there are no drugs in the card.”

PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

OVER THE NEXT few weeks, police in Northern Ireland will be giving out scratch and sniff cards to members of the public, to help them spot home cultivation of cannabis.

The card, launched in collaboration with the charity Crimestoppers, has a panel on the back that, when scratched, emits the odour of cannabis plants, as a PSNI statement makes clear:

The cards contain an element that replicates the smell of cannabis in its growing state which is a different smell to when it is being smoked.

It also lists the eight “tell-tale” signs that someone in your neighbourhood is growing the drug at home:

8signs PSNI / Crimestoppers PSNI / Crimestoppers / Crimestoppers

Northern Ireland has seen a 44%  rise in “cannabis factories” over the past year, with 130 being uncovered by police between April 2013 and March, a trend which worries Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris:

They are illegal and they are dangerous.  The money generated by them runs into millions of pounds.
That’s money going into the pockets of organised criminals – used to fund even more criminal activity.

The panel itself is accompanied by an assurance, for the law-abiding people of Northern Ireland, that they’re not going to inadvertently get high by sniffing it:

panel PSNI / Crimestoppers PSNI / Crimestoppers / Crimestoppers

Read: Pensioner unwittingly asks the BBC to help her identify a marijuana plant>

‘Prince of Pot’ on a tour of Ireland’s universities to talk about decriminalising drugs>

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