French police hunt gang peddling ‘cheaper weed’

Thieves are thought to be stealing colourful plants in northern France because smoking some varieties can get you high

A pink hydrangea flower or an evil cheap drug much sought after in northern France? Photograph: Lisa Carpenter for the Guardian

Some gardeners prefer the spiky Hydrangea paniculata; others opt for the smoother mop-head varieties such as Hydrangea macrophylla. Others, often those with yellow as opposed to green fingers, do not much care. They just like to rip off the petals of any old hydrangea – also known as hortensia – and smoke them, police in France have claimed.

Gendarme in northern France are on the trail of the “Hortensia Gang”, acting on reports that dozens of the wintering plants have been stolen or severely pruned in the past few weeks.

Initially sceptical that youngsters were roaming private and public gardens chopping off hydrangea heads and leaves to dry, mix with tobacco, and smoke as a cheap alternative to cannabis, police say they are now investigating.

As part of their inquiries, officers spoke to local pharmacists who confirmed the hallucinogenic and euphoria-inducing effects of the hydrangea bloom, of which there are thousands of varieties. Experts say the effect is similar to that of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in the cannabis plant.

Read more

Read more

 

Advertisements