UK drug squad raids home for marijuana, finds guinea pigs

Our friends in the UK are never content to let their former colonies transcend them in the War on Cannabis.  Where we in America have the “kush” that will lock you to a couch, the Brits have the “skunk” that will give you multiple personality disorder.  Where up in Canada they have electrical inspectors using anti-cannabis regulations to fine indoor cucumber growers, the Brits have police helicopters, battering rams, six cops, and three cop cars dispatched under anti-cannabis surveillance to discover pet rodents.

(Daily Express) ANTI-drugs officers were convinced they had uncovered a cannabis factory when a police helicopter detected a suspicious building.

The onboard thermal imaging ­camera identified what looked like a clear case of a heating system to cultivate the illegal weed.

But police were left glowing with embarrassment when they swooped on Pamela Hardcastle’s semi [like a townhouse for our US readers] – and found the family’s guinea pigs Simon and Kenny being kept warm by an electric heater.

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This woman is hard at work as a teacher when her elderly mother who lives in the adjoining townhouse calls her saying the police are here with a battering ram and they have a warrant.  She has no criminal record and says she doesn’t even have an unpaid bill.  The police have cut the lock on her neighbor’s gate to gain access when she arrives to show them the garage with the space heater and the rodents.

However, even with the embarrassing incident, this story does turn significantly from how it might have transpired in the United States.  Here, drug cops with a warrant wouldn’t be serving it during work hours; it would be late at night in the cover of darkness.  Here they wouldn’t be calling the homeowner and waiting for her arrival having only cut a padlock; they would have knocked, announced, and beat down the door and rushed inside with automatic weapons drawn.  Here they wouldn’t have spoken with the elderly mother; they would have forced her to the ground and cuffed her.

And most likely after discovering they’d burst into a guinea pig incubator, they wouldn’t do this:

Last night Mrs Hardcastle said a senior officer had visited to apologise in person and brought a new lock for her neighbour’s gate.

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