60kg of seized pot causes a big stink

A cannabis plant

Dispute between authorities and agency that disposes of seized cannabis blamed for positive drug tests at police station

POLICE officers in Roubaix are testing positive for cannabis, because the pungent aroma from seized drugs is wafting through their police station.

Workers at the agency that disposes of the illegal substance are reportedly on strike over staffing levels, leaving police with no choice but to store the drug in the building.

But now, fumes from the 60kgs of seized cannabis currently in storage in the town in the Nord department have left officers complaining of headaches and nausea.

Recognising the smell, some tested themselves for the drug, local police union official Fabrice Danel said.

He explained: “Some, either worried or for fun, tested themselves for marijuana. Most of them came back positive."

The situation is no laughing matter, authorities have insisted. It’s possible, they said, that a suspect brought in for questioning may be tested for drugs after spending some time at the station and, through no fault of their own, the test could come back positive.

An unnamed official argued: "Imagine that an officer, on duty or simply going home, causes an accident.

“A field test would come back positive for drugs and he could be arrested.”

The situation is serious enough for the local police union to threaten action.

Photo:Mario Antonio Pena Zapatería

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