Just because you can go to hash bars in Amsterdam doesn’t mean the Dutch are cool with you just growing weed wherever you want. About 30,000 Dutch households will be receiving scratch and sniff cards, so they know what weed smells like so they can sniff out and report illegal cannabis farms.
Authorities in Rotterdam and The Hague say they are distributing the cards to help people recognise what cannabis smells like. The cards also include a number to call to report suspected marijuana-growing. Dutch authorities turn a blind eye to citizens growing up to five marijuana plants for personal use.
“Citizens must be alerted to the dangers they face as a result of these plantations, and if they become aware of any suspect situations they must report them,” said the spokesman for government-appointed working group to combat cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands, Arnie Loos.
The green scratch card, measuring 20cm by 10cm (8in by 4in) reads “Assist in combatting cannabis plantations”. When scratched, the card reveals its scent as well as a police number people can call if they suspect that a neighbour grows marijuana on a large scale.
You might think that all Dutch know what weed smells like, but the Netherlands has a surprisingly low rate of marijuana use, despite its tolerated status in has bars and in homes.