Hemp Thieves Caught Green-Handed

Hemp theft arrest
Image: Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office

Four would-be marijuana thieves in the USA proved not to be the sharpest tools in the shed. To put it bluntly, they were about as dumb as they come.

Clackamas County is situated in the U.S. state of Oregon. Agriculture, timber and manufacturing are among the principle activities in the region, and there appears to be a significant amount of (legal) cannabis cultivation activity in the county.

Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office reported last week its officers had apprehended four young fellows who were carrying large bags while walking alongside a highway in the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

“A green leafy plant was protruding from the opening of at least one bag,” states the media release from the Sheriff’s Office. “Green leaves were poking out of the pockets of the subjects. Mud was caked on the subjects’ feet and ankles. One subject was carrying a large bushel of plants in his arms in addition to his bagful.”

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Greed has been the undoing of many, and certainly appears to be the case here – one fellow made it pretty clear what he was carrying as depicted in the image above.

All told the parties had 60 – 80 pounds of the material, which turned out to be legal hemp from a local farm – and not marijuana as the thieves assumed. What distinguishes hemp from marijuana is the level of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), an intoxicating cannabinoid. Hemp’s levels are so low it has zero recreational value.

All four are now facing charges of Theft I and Criminal Trespass II, and their hopes of getting high are up in smoke so to speak.

It’s an amusing story, but not so amusing for the many hemp farmers across the world who have to tolerate incursions and thefts. Aside from the economic impact and stress of having to be on guard at all times; incidents of theft can be quite dangerous if firearms are involved. This applies to both the farmers and the thieves – the USA’s gun laws being what they are enables farmers to arm themselves with all sorts of high-powered firearms. And who wouldn’t do so knowing some thieves do the same?

On a brighter note, we recently mentioned a case in the state of Vermont where a grower’s entire crop of 50 hemp plants were cut down and removed, with around 500 pounds of biomass stolen. The owner of the crop has since had multiple offers of assistance, including from the owner of VT Terps, who is donating 50 of his own plants. It’s nice to see participants in Vermont’s hemp industry have each other’s backs.

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