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Pensionāre par policistu nopostītajām kaņepēm kompensāciju joprojām nav saņēmusi

'Cannabis baroness' still hasn't received compensation three years on

Pensioner Dzidra Bruzgule from Viļāni district, has still to receive a promised compensation payment three years after her harmless hemp crop was destroyed by police.

As previously reported by LSM, in 2018 a bumbling police raid swooped on Dzidra's idyllic cottage, ripped up nearly 400 plants and carted them off for forensic examination which showed that Dzidra was telling the truth when she said she was not growing psychoactive drugs in plain sight outdoors.

She adds hemp seed to butter or grinds the seeds and mixes them with oil to make a fine and nutritious spread. Such products are traditional and widely available in shops in Latvia. Delicious though they are, they will not get you high no matter how much you consume.

Following hearings in various courts over the last three years, which started with a decision to offer 27 euros in compesation, in February this year Dzidra was awarded 1,500 euros in compensation by a court, but has yet to receive a cent, as the decision has been appealed to the Supreme Court.

"It's like theater, as if my experience during those days is not considered [seriously]. The main thing is that there is no clarity. Three years and it's neither here nor there," Dzidra told LTV's Studio 4 news show.

While Dzidra waits for resolution of her case, prosecutors, lawyers and judges continue to pore over the fine legal details set in train by the destruction of her kitchen garden.  

"By reassessing the validity of the search carried out during the criminal proceedings, the court has violated the limits of its competence, as well as has not performed a comprehensive and objective examination of evidence and has not observed the principle of equality," commented the state prosecutor's representative Aiga Eiduka. According to her, the issue of initiating cassation proceedings in the Supreme Court has not been decided yet.

"Further preparations are being made for the action hearing, and at this stage of the proceedings an assessment of the cassation appeal is already under way, an analysis of existing case law to determine whether there are grounds for cassation proceedings. If it is decided that cassation proceedings are instituted, then the case is prepared for trial, and the time from the decision of the Board of Directors to the referral of the case in cassation to a full ruling is another four to six months. Therefore, there will definitely be a decision of the action hearing in the case this year," said Baiba Kataja, the press secretary of the Communication Division of the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile Dzidra continues to grow her notorious, yet completely harmless crop in the flowerbeds around her wooden cottage, laughing that they have now in effect been certified as safe by police forensics. This year's harvest has already been gathered in and the hemp bushes have been placed to dry. The seeds will then be harvested for her butter and she is even considering presenting some to the lawyers, as befits her notorious 'drug baron' status.

"Well, how - I am a baroness, I have to bring a village bribe with me. I always have to say that I am a baroness! With cannabis. With cannabis butter or something like that," said Bruzgule.

It looks like Dzidra will have the last laugh whether or not she receives her money. Other hemp growers in Latvia have become interested in the unusually vigorous growth of the hemp in her garden. It is possible that this particular variety of the ancient crop will soon be known by a very simple name: "Dzidra".

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