Pensioner whose hemp police took will be compensated EUR 1,500

Take note – story published 3 years and 3 months ago

The Administrative District court has delivered verdict on a case which started in summer of 2018 and became a cause celebre: that of a lady of advanced years whose hemp plants were cut down and taken from her garden by police. Now she will be compensated EUR 1,500, Re:TV reported February 3.

In late August 2018 police arrived at Dzidra Bruzgule's home in Viļāni parish, suspecting that the hemp in her garden is psychoactive. The police cut down all 363 plants to test it. A criminal case was initiated.

The charges against Bruzgule were soon dismissed, as no psychoactive substances were found in the hemp they took from Bruzgule's garden. In October of 2018, police apologized to the lady and said she could have her hemp back, though it is unclear whether she got it and in what state.

The pensioner demanded compensation of EUR 3,000 for the stress and health problems caused by the incident. In January 2021, court ruled that she would receive a compensation of EUR 1,500.

"I told them on the very first day: I will go to Strasbourg on my own two feet if I have to, but I will get justice! Such barbaric actions, one can only wonder!" said Bruzgule.

Guntis Vilnītis, the head of the Latvian Association of Industrial Hemp Manufacturers, said that the police had acted recklessly, as there is no information that someone in Latvia might have succeeded in growing hemp with elevated THC levels which could have any impact on human health.

The police said in 2018 that they would review standard procedures in cases like this. Whether a solution has been found, police provided no comments now.

Non-psychoactive hemp is a widely-grown crop in Latvia, used for centuries in butters, baking, oils, brewing, spreads, fabrics and other things. The strains cultivated here will not get you high no matter how much you consume, despite the occasional yet determined efforts of some visitors to do so when they see the wide range of hemp products available.   



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