Article by Ian Young, South China Morning Post
Vancouver’s famously tolerant attitude towards pot has been taken to the next level, in a city where police already routinely turn a blind eye to medical marijuana dispensaries and not-yet-legal-in-Canada public puffing.
Among the kale and chives at the community garden on the lawns of Vancouver City Hall, someone has been openly and illegally cultivating cannabis.
No effort was made to conceal the seedlings, about 20cm high. On Monday afternoon, the healthy looking plants were standing proud in two grey planter boxes in the centre of the garden.
University of British Columbia adjunct professor in botany Jonathan Page confirmed that the distinctive-looking plants in photos provided by the South China Morning Post were cannabis.
“They are definitely cannabis plants though one cannot tell if they are drug type or hemp,” he said, distinguishing between plants with high and low levels of the drug compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). “It looks like the lower leaves have been trimmed,” added Page, who was the first scientist to sequence the cannabis genome and is the founder and CEO of cannabis-testing company Anandia Labs.
The federal Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pushing to legalise marijuana, but in case it needs to be said – it is presently illegal to grow cannabis plants outside City Hall.
But the Vancouver Police Department, whose chief does not consider marijuana consumption or illegal dispensaries to be a high priority for enforcement, was nonplussed.