No tolerance for grow-your-own
By BRIAN BIGG firstname.lastname@example.org THE Northern Rivers may be famous for being a region of tolerance, but there's one aspect of life here for which police have no patience.
And they've sent the message out this week: If you grow, or deal in cannabis, you will be arrested.
To back up their message, police from the Richmond Local Area Command Target Action Group have conducted a series of raids on a number of properties in the region.
They've seized dozens of cannabis plants, seeds, leaf and drug using paraphernalia.
In the last incident, police used a search warrant to raid a home in Dunoon Road at Dunoon on Wednesday.
They discovered 40 hydroponically-grown cannabis plants, an amount of dried cannabis leaf and heads, and associated drug related items.
The residents of the house, a man and a woman, were arrested and are described by police to be 'currently talking to police and assisting us with our enquiries and the investigation'.
Crime manager Detective Inspector Steve Clarke said the raids were part of a co-ordinated campaign.
"This is the third search warrant in three days where police have seized large amounts of prohibited drugs. We will continue to target those growing, selling and using prohibited drugs. This is sending a clear message to those associated with the drug industry police may soon be knocking on your door."
On Wednesday morning, police raided a Goonellabah house. They seized a number of extremely large cannabis plants, an amount of dried cannabis leaf and heads, bongs, and associated drug related items.
Police charged a 45-year-old Goonellabah man with cultivating and possessing a prohibited drug. He has been bailed to Lismore Local Court.
Superintendent Bruce Lyons said the raids followed information from the public.
"I wish to thank the general public for providing information to police, thus allowing us to continue to target those growing, selling and using prohibited drugs in the command."
"Police will continue to allocate resources targeting all prohibited drugs."
This week's raids follow the NSW police force's annual helicopter operation targeting drugs in the Northern Rivers region.
Local police also conducted a major crack-down last year on the alleged drug operations of members of the Lone Wolf bikie gang.
Police arrested and charged three local men in raids at South Lismore and Bungawalbyn in July last year.