Pubdate: Thu, 26 Aug 2004
Source: Royal Gazette, The (Bermuda)
Copyright: 2004 The Royal Gazette Ltd.
Author: Matthew Taylor


A marijuana farmer directed The Royal Gazette to his illegal plot yesterday 
after saying he had been tipped off that it was under surveillance.

The anonymous caller rang yesterday morning and described how to reach the 
four-by-12 metre plot hidden in dense woodland on Government land in the 
East of the Island. It harboured a crop which has netted him $40,000.

When The Royal Gazette paid a visit it found the area thick with plants ten 
feet high among barrels for irrigation.

The plot was reached by a hidden path behind innocent-looking chicken coops 
and impossible to stumble across unless you were looking for it.

Later the caller checked to see we had visited and said he had told other 

He said: "I am a little angry Police found out. I found out through some 
good friends. I have had it for about four years. It's worth about $40,000 
a year, this was a really good year. Last year Hurricane Fabian took it 
right out."

He said the tip-off that the farm was being watched by Police had saved him 
his liberty.

"They didn't get me, it's basically too late for them. What they should 
have done is allow me to harvest it, they know who it belongs to. "There 
are also other people who know Police are onto them."

The plants had been planted in February and the caller said it was his only 

Marijuana cultivation is a sideline to his main job said the man who 
claimed he sold the crop at discount for medicinal use to cancer patients 
who were also upset it had been discovered.

The marijuana cultivation was mainly philanthropic, claimed the man. "I 
give major discounts if I charge at all."

But he said the discovery had discouraged him. "I want to leave the Island 
because there is nowhere to grow.

"Everywhere I want to grow they are building houses. The Island is too 
small to grow really. I know there are lots of people like me, I have known 
many, many, many."

One former marijuana grower, who is now in rehab, told The Royal Gazette 
the plants thrived in Bermuda's rich soil and damp atmosphere while thick 
vegetation provided the perfect cover.

"There are plots all over the Island," said the man who said the site found 
by The Royal Gazette was one of the larger plots.

He estimated around 50 percent of Bermuda's marijuana consumption is from 
home-grown herb and explained it took three to six months for plants to 
reach four or five feet.

The plants need a lot of water but can be left for a day or so, he said, 
adding that animal manure helped them along while "caterpillars and humans" 
were the main threat to their livelihood.

Marijuana cultivation is big business in Bermuda.

He said a ten-foot plant could yield 15 grams of the drug which could be 
worth between $1,500 and $3,000 on the streets of Bermuda.

Cannabis cigarettes go for about $12.50, bags big enough for four to five 
cigarettes go for $50 while one gram of the drug costs $125 and an ounce 
fetches around $600.

Last night a Police media spokesman said no-one has reported the site and 
he requested details of its whereabouts which The Royal Gazette is happy to 

The spokesman added later: "Certain circumstances of this particular 
incident are unclear at this juncture however the services will be 
conducting an inquiry into this matter."
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