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Police bust two pot farms and research lab

In late November, Latvian police busted a huge marijuana growing operation, detaining 8 people, seizing 12 kg of drugs (worth about €180,000 on the market), more than 30 kg of plants as well as several weapons in two grow houses in Latgale and one research lab in Rīga Latvian Television reported Tuesday.

The two farms were discovered in Latgale, not far from the border with Belarus. The lab was discovered in a garage in Rīga, and it seems that the growing potential of several strains was researched there. The lab was equipped with several web cams for monitoring, several varieties of plants, as well as microscopes and fertilizer. 

Police also seized €17,000 in cash, five weapons, including a submachine gun with a silencer, and some 1,500 plants during searches.

Police say the group had planned on boosting the operation as so many plants were found and research was carried out in the Rīga garage.

Four organizers have been detained, all middle-aged men, and are now behind bars. Others, who are under police watch, include three young people aged 22 to 25 and a 55-year-old man.

This year police have busted 28 marijuana grow houses, while last year the number was 27. The punishment for growing marijuana can be more than 10 years in prison.

In 2015 more than 10,000 had signed in an initiative about the decriminalization of marijuana. It was handed to the parliament, which promptly rejected it. 

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