Elderly couple accidentally grew cannabis plant

Cannabis plantAP Photo/Teresa Crawford

Bedfordshire police have reported the seizing of an enormous cannabis plant from an elderly couple who had no idea what they were growing (not the one pictured).

So how did they end up on the wrong side of the law, and what would the implications be if it happened to you?
The couple apparently bought the plant in all innocence from a car boot sale. They lovingly tended it until it grew to a gargantuan size. However, they then received a visit from police.

Officers tweeted on the @bedfordlpt Twitter account: "Seized today. Elderly couple bought shrub at car boot sale, tended carefully - biggest cannabis plant we had seen!!"

It is thought that the couple were not pursued for the crime.

It's a strange business, and there can't be many elderly gardeners lovingly tending an illegal drug beside the patio. However, it begs the question of what might be lurking in your garden. What did the people who owned the house previously leave for you? What did you buy at that car boot sale? And just how much trouble could you get into for it?

The good news is that if you are found to be growing a single plant, and you're entirely unaware of its nature, there's every chance no action will be taken.

The basic starting point for low-level drugs growing offences like this is a fine of 150% of your weekly income, or a community order where you may have to carry out certain tasks.

However, a host of things are taken into consideration - such as any previous involvement in crime, your level of understanding of what you were going, the scale of the growing, and any risks you created for anyone else. If it is genuinely a case of mistaken identity, there may be no real repercussions.

If it's a dodgy plant lurking behind the compost heap, the chances are that neither you or the police will ever know about it. And if an officer was to stumble across it, there's a very strong chance they will just take it away and destroy it.

After they posted it on Twitter first of course.
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