Senior citizens in Britain are finding new ways to make ends meet by growing marijuana. In Britain, there is a bedroom tax that allows less funds to be released to those residing in government housing. So, grandmothers with marijuana grow operations, or “groppers” as they’re also known as, are popping up all over Britain.
In 2001, Britain downgraded marijuana to a Class C drug, according to VICE. But, in 2009, marijuana laws were hardened when a reclassification of marijuana took place making it a Class B drug; yet, the amount of groppers throughout Britain continued to increased.
The Independent Drug Monitoring Unit estimates that between 2014 and 2015, roughly 504,000 people were growing marijuana in Britain.
Producing a Class B drug in Britain is punishable by up to 14-years in prison. Britain’s government is seeking alternative types of punishment for groppers. Another plus for groppers is that several of Britain’s police forces are under-funded, meaning that they don’t have the resources to go after everyone growing marijuana. In Derbyshire and Durham alone, police said they aren’t going to bother with those growing small amounts of marijuana.
County Durham commissioner Ron Hogg said, “In low-level cases, we say it is better to work with them and put them in a position where they can recover. It is unlikely that a case like that would be brought before a court.”
One of Britain’s leading marijuana cultivators said, “The last ten years have been trial and error with who and where to grow cannabis crops – we’ve tried big crops in factories, which are great until they’re found, and then it’s a big loss. If you’d told me five years ago I’d have a load of grannies with crops on my books, I wouldn’t have believed you, but the money is great for them.”