Prison Garden Growing Cannabis
Plenty of Time to Grow
Prisoners at Fulham Correctional Center, a state-run prison in Australia, have taken their horticulture program to new heights. Using the prison’s “horticulture training program” as cover, the inmates had successfully grown 28 marijuana plants in the facility’s prison garden before the plants were discovered on Tuesday.
It took a team of sniffer dogs to discover the plants, which the prisoners had been growing right under guards’ noses. The plants, some nearly two feet tall, were initially found out on Tuesday this week, and the drug canines found more spread out across prison grounds on Wednesday.
It’s unknown how many prisoners were involved in the cannabis growing operation, or what consequences they will face for their actions. The situation has reportedly been handed over to police. One suspect has been identified so far. He’s a prisoner, and not someone involved in the horticultural training program.
An Embarrassing Blunder
Australian authorities are scratching their heads over the incident. They want to know how such a relatively large crop of marijuana could have been grown despite searches and supervision by correctional officers.
The Corrections Commissioner Jan Shuard told reporters on Tuesday that the oversight was an unacceptable blunder. Fulham Prison is a large facility with sprawling grounds, but Shuard isn’t ready to accept that as an excuse.
“It’s embarrassing,” she said on Australia’s morning news program, 3AW Mornings. “I am concerned about it.”
At Fulham Correctional Center, prisoners are responsible for maintaining prison grounds. It appears that they utilized this advantage along with their horticultural training to grow the contraband plants.
Fulham officials are currently conducting an investigation. The situation is raising further questions about what happens inside jails across the state.
No Small Crop
The cannabis crop was discovered in the Fulham Prison garden, which is a medium security prison owned and operated by the Corrections multinational company GeoGroup. The relatively looser security at this facility is one reason prisoners were able to grow such a large crop undetected.
The 28 or more plants, averaging 24 inches in height, would have produced a significant quantity of cannabis. Currently, officials are speculating that the plants were grown from seeds smuggled inside the prison walls.
Officials are still trying to determine what the prisoners planned to do with their crop. Did the inmates plan to smuggle the cannabis outside the prison gates, or were they hoping to use their crop inside the jail?
Australia’s Stance on Cannabis
It was on February 24 of this year, 2016 when Australia decided to legalize cannabis for medical use at the federal level. Politicians and advocates are still fighting to decriminalize and legalize recreational marijuana.
While the inmates involved in the cannabis grow were likely incarcerated on charges unrelated to marijuana, the fact that they were growing contraband substances inside the jail will likely lead to punitive consequences.