Dean Beddis, who discovered the plants, gives us an articulate list of reasons why he hates journalists.
Newport has gained something of a reputation in recent years; a reputation as a hotbed of merriment, drug use, and excess. Some people have even taken to calling it the ‘Amsterdam of Monmouthshire’, and the ‘Gomorrah of Gwent’. Goldie Lookin’ Chain and the Dirty Sanchez team are all locals, one member of Goldie Lookin’ Chain is even a councillor. Josie D’Arby and football manager Tony Pulis were also born there. I only assume they do a lot of drugs. Tony Pulis has the glassy-eyed stare of a man who’s spent one too many weekends watching Match of the Day from down the wrong end of a mescaline trip, and Josie D’Arby is friends with Richard Bacon.
The discovery of more than 20 cannabis plants, sprouting among flowers in six separate council planters in Newport city centre, should do the city’s reputation no harm at all. The plants were discovered nestled among the council’s flower arrangements lining one of the busiest main roads in the area, with thousands of motorists using it every day. It’s also half a mile from the city’s main police station.
Record shop owner, Dean Beddis, found the plants. We caught up with him this afternoon. He’d just been interviewed by Sky News, ITV, and the BBC. “There’s things like Syria going on, and everybody’s bothered about this shit?” he said. “I hate Sky anyway, I watch Al Jazeera like, I just told them Rupert Murdoch’s a cunt.” All very valid points.
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He continued: “The plants are down the main street, that’s what’s really funny about the whole thing. You could reach out and grab them from your car.” Walesonline managed to get several snaps of the offending plants. Unfortunately, they were harvested before the police could get down there to take a look and confirm whether they were definitely illegal cannabis plants, despite only being half a mile away. Expert analysis of the photos, however, said there was little doubt that they were cannabis sativa.
All the signs point to it being the work of local teenage pranksters. Rhys Hutchings, a member of Goldie Lookin’ Chain and a Newport councillor, said he thought local teenagers were to blame: ”It’s either kids or the Newport underworld community – I’m pretty sure it’s not Alan Titchmarsh.”
It’s doubtful that a serious cannabis growing operation would risk what appears to be a valuable crop of illegal drugs in such a manner. Although, the operation appears to have been a successful one. A local man, who wishes to remain anonymous, told us he thought they’d been there for around eight weeks, a ringing endorsement for the concept of hiding in plain sight, or a damning condemnation of Newport’s police force, depending how you want to look at it. Furthermore, for eight weeks worth of growth, the plants themselves are really quite impressive. Someone even managed to get them out before the police turned up.
City Council officials are currently trawling CCTV footage in the hopes of nailing the culprit.
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Photo: Thomas Wormaid via Flickr