LETHBRIDGE, Alberta (CBS Seattle) – Alberta authorities thought they made the biggest marijuana bust in Lethbridge’s history, but instead confiscated 1,624 daisy plants.
The Calgary Sun reports that at the time of the July bust a senior officer proudly held up garbage bags filled of the plants and declared, “This is a significant bust, given the size of this operation.”
The Sun now reports that that same officer, Staff Sgt. Wes Houston, made a mistake.
“In any investigation, police count public safety as our top priority – our decision to seize the plants was made with the best information we had at the time,” Houston told the Sun.
Houston is the leader of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team, which is supposedly the best drug squad in the providence.
According to the paper, cops are still planning on charging the owner of the garden, Ryan Thomas Rockman, 41, with four charges of 1.5 pounds of marijuana possession and 6.3 grams of resin possession.
“They muddied my name pretty good,” Rockman told the Sun after the raid on his garden. “The whole situation makes me want to hang my head and cry.”
Rockman kept trying to tell police that he was just growing daisies, but to the untrained eye, the plants do look similar.
“To be fair, they do look very similar. You have to look close to see the difference,” Tamara Cartwright-Poulits, director of the Southern Alberta Cannabis Club, told the Sun.
Cartwright-Poulitis says that a trained drug cop should have been able to tell the difference.
“This just shows they are totally uneducated about marijuana, and when you’re dealing with law enforcement officers, that’s unacceptable,” she added. “To me, this looks like they were scrambling for the big bust, hoping for a big headline.”