Queensland police have destroyed $56,000 worth of hydroponics equipment over the weekend, in an effort to warn Queenslanders not to grow their own cannabis.
Police carried out 18 raids in the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay-Burnett regions from November 12th to 18th. The raids focused on properties in Nambour, Mount Coolum, Maleny, Glenwood and the Glass House Mountains.
Across all 18 raids, police seized 156 cannabis plants and 12 kilograms of dried cannabis. Other drugs were also found. Police also seized a crossbow and a sawn-off .22 bolt action rimfire rifle.
According to the cannabis prices in Australia, the dried cannabis is worth over $138,000, with the police valuing all the seized drugs at $474,600.
The raids resulted in a total of 67 charges being issued between 17 people. Police have stated that 15 of these charges were for the production of cannabis. While further details are unknown, a 47-year-old man is due to appear in Nambour Magistrates Court on five counts of supplying cannabis on January 21st.
Speaking to 7News, Detective Acting Superintendent Pukallas stated that the raids and the destruction of hydroponics equipment will make Queensland “safer”, stating:
It also sends a message to those involved in the illicit drug market, who may have turned to locally producing cannabis as a result of supply issues.
Police believe these supply issues are the result of COVID-19 border closures.
While Queensland police continue to prosecute cannabis growers, over 7,660 Queenslanders have signed a petition to remove cannabis restrictions in the states Misuse Drugs Act. Read more about the petition here.