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Police in Spain Make Largest Ever Seizure of Cannabis

Spanish police stated that this weekend they had made the largest ever international marijuana seizure. 

Guardia Civil on Saturday announced that it has dismantled an organisation with 32 tons of cannabis stored all over the country, in Ciudad Real (Valencia), Toledo and Asturias.

The raid was known as the “Jardines operation.”

“The Civil Guard has seized the largest cache of packaged marijuana found so far. Jardines has seized 32,370.2 kg of marijuana buds. This is the biggest seizure not just in Spain but internationally. Its equivalence in complete plants would be approximately 1,100,000 copies,” the police said.

Or, as the BBC put it, the “weight of the seized plants is roughly equivalent to more than five adult African elephants.”

The police said that through “a complex business network, [the suspects] sent vacuum-packed marijuana throughout the national territory, as well as to Switzerland, Holland, Germany, and Belgium, among other European countries.”

“The twenty detainees – nine men and eleven women between the ages of 20 and 59 – were part of an organization with offices in Toledo, Ciudad Real, Valencia and Asturias, which controlled the entire drug production and distribution process,” the police said in the announcement on Saturday. “The investigation began with an inspection by the Civil Guard of several industrial hemp plantations in Villacañas (Toledo). They had acquired the seeds from a company owned by the main investigator. Another company transported the seeds and then planted them. Another company was in charge of the care, maintenance, collection and drying of the specimens.” 

“Finally, the initial company was in charge of acquiring the already dried plants with the buds and stored them in two warehouses located in the province of Valencia,” they continued “From there, the detainees processed the genre, separating the buds and vacuum packaging them in different formats to send them both to places in Spanish territory and to European countries, mainly Switzerland, Holland, Germany and Belgium.”

According to police, the subsequent raid took place last month in Ciudad Real, with agents from Toledo ultimately discovering “some 37,000 plants distributed in four greenhouses and in the process of drying.”

“The three people who were at the time of the performance were arrested. The Civil Guard found four tonnes of marijuana stings in the ship. The destination of all the merchandise was the two warehouses in Valencia,” they explained. “In this last province, the Civil Guard has intervened 30,530 kilos of buds, 20 kilos of pollen -all vacuum packed-, 21,600 plants in the process of drying and 231,200 packs of marijuana buds. There is also documentation that confirms the existence and operation of numerous other plantations. In this record 15 people have been arrested.”

“Finally, the third and last phase of the exploitation, has consisted of a new inspection in Asturias. Analyses of plants discovered in the area also revealed that they were psychoactive. 4,000 plants have been seized and two have been arrested,” the police added.

Spain’s lawmakers passed a bill in June that allows medical cannabis to be legalized by law.

The prescription will allow patients suffering from conditions like cancer, pain and endometriosis to get a prescription. Experts believe that there could be hundreds of thousands in Spain who would benefit.