Finnish police arrest Hydroponic shop owners for promoting cannabis

finnish-policeA Finnish business that specialises in the sale of gardening equipment has been raided by local police under suspicions that the operation is deliberately promoting the purchase and use of home cultivation equipment for growing cannabis.

According to Helsingin Sanomat the business claims on its website that its three outlets across the country, in Tampere, Turku and Helsinki, specialise in hydroponics. This includes such equipment as grow-lamps, growing chambers, ventilation systems, fertilisers, timers and measuring devices.

Tampere police have also searched a range of addresses belonging to customers. “We have found a significant amount of marijuana in the searches,” said Officer Jari Luoto. Home growers are also alleged to feature prominently on internet message boards.

Luoto has stated that an unconfirmed number of people involved in the business have been detained with several remanded under suspicion of the promotion of drug-related crime. The business appears to have ground to a halt while police investigations continue.

The question of whether selling hydroponic equipment can be construed as drug promotion has no precedent in Finnish law. “This investigation is a kind of precedent. The matter will undoubtedly be evaluated in various court instances,” claimed Luoto.

The University of Eastern Finland’s Professor of Criminal and Procedural Law, Matti Tolvanen, is hesitant to label cultivation equipment as drug crime promotion. He argues that the primary use of any merchandise outweighs isolated incidents of illegal usage and also whether the seller is aware of the intentions of the buyer. “The police are testing their boundaries. After all, selling knives is not illegal, even though they are used to commit homicides,” Tolvanen reasons.

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