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When they call it ‘skunk,’ they’re not being that literal

Perhaps the police officers in 20 cruisers from Gatineau and Surete du Quebec in Canada have heard the term “skunk” being used to refer to potent marijuana in the U.K. (or, formerly, crappy marijuana in the U.S.). But the truth is, while such cannabis does have a pungent smell, it doesn’t actually smell like… skunk.

Man angry after gun-point raid at his home

A rural Gatineau, Que., family is angry at police who raided their home armed with loaded guns looking for a marijuana grow-op, which turned out to only be a skunk that lived on their property. […]

The father of two was met by Gatineau officers who declared they had a warrant to search his home and arrest him.

“I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” said MacQuat, who was handcuffed and seated on a stool while officers searched his home.

“That scared the living daylights out of me. They were very respectful, but it’s very humiliating to be wearing handcuffs and to have people going through your house.”

He was told the skunk smell — which is noticeable when driving by — was also similar to that of a grow-op. […]

Minutes later, the scene’s senior officer walked inside to inform fellow officers the smell was, after all, just a skunk as MacQuat had pleaded.

“They were really embarrassed by it, but they were very sincere in their apologies,” said Macquat, who owns his own auto body shop.

“But had they done their investigation more thoroughly, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.” […]

The force would not comment on the incident when reached Saturday.

But the family said officers were not rough and even cleaned their shoes before they entered.

At least the police were polite. Can you imagine a drug raid here in the U.S. where the police cleaned their shoes before entering?

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24 comments to When they call it ‘skunk,’ they’re not being that literal

  • Mugen

    Can you imagine a drug raid here in the U.S. where the police cleaned their shoes before entering?

    For some reason, I simply can’t. I wonder why that is?

  • sargent stadenko

    Get the helicopters out boys there is some smelly tomatoes growing in them there hills. Shoot the moon. (See Cheech & Chong Up In Smoke those that don’t get the reference.)

  • Just Legalize It

    now i can understand why there would be some confusion if we legalized hemp. I have NEVER smelled skunk and thought “gee, that there smells like marijuana.”

    im actually surprised at the canadian police eh?

    I would like to see an IQ standard with police. Something to the tune of 110+ IQ required.

  • Mike R

    I think skunk smells just like an mj plant. That’s just me personally. I’m rather fond of the aroma. Mmmm, mmm, good.

  • Rhayader

    Sometimes I’ll be driving down the road and smell a skunk with just the right intensity so that it does indeed smell a whole lot like really good pot.

  • Ben Mann

    Apparently, “I smell something funny” is now grounds for a legal home invasion by armed paramilitaries.

  • chris

    Last time I got super skunk my mom was like “is there a skunk outside?!”

  • Bruce

    “I smell something funny” has resulted in roadside interrogation and vehicle impoundment twice for yours truly.
    Works both ways.
    I smelled something funny and withdrew from funding this nonsense.
    Day 253 starving the beast. Used to love participating in the workforce. Loved playing the Lotto. Paid and paid again. Funding yourself with Monopoly money now eh BORG? Bad karma, Fascists.

  • darkcycle

    “Can you imagine a drug raid here in the U.S. where the police cleaned their shoes before entering?” Why, Yes. As long as they used the homeownwer’s face. Or the fur of the dog they shot.

  • Duncan20903

    It must be a genetic factor, like the people who don’t find aspartame sweet in their coffee. When I get a whiff I can understand the immediate thought that they smell the same but after that first whiff can tell that while close, they are distictly different.

    Is there only one kind of skunk in the world? I am referring to the animal. There are black bears, brown bears, polar bears, grizzly bears, and panda bears. There are thousands of different variety of dogs, and there’s 3 specific kinds of cannabis so why couldn’t there be multiple varieties of skunks?

    (PS yes I know that pandas are closer to being raccoons rather than bears.)

  • Bruce

    In BC we have Skunk Cabbage. Very stinky. I’m wondering if that could be the origin of the term being used in reference to the benevolent demon strain in question.
    Irregardless, the crying mother statues dotting the cemeteries of Europe cry not for the war dead, but the current condition of their home countries, their inheritance sacked and squandered by their treasonous brethren.

  • Tim

    This is the exception, not the rule. Thing is that other places are much more, um, US-style. A dog was shot in a raid at a kid’s birthday party in BC years back, I recall.

    I think too the cops knew the warrant was dodgy. I’ve lived in the area and have seen some pretty flimsy warrants — even a few where one of the cops called into CrimeStoppers to generate a tip. They don’t make the papers, and are quietly settled, due to the possible damage it could do to police-community relations.

    “We cannot talk about the details,” she said when asked if one of the other reasons for the raid was due to the perception there wasn’t much snow on the roof — sometimes an indication there’s a marijuana grow-op inside.

    Cops defend botched raid

  • auggie

    Skunk #1 smells exactly like the animals musk but that still shouldn’t be enough to get a warrant.

  • Duncan20903

    As I said, it must be genetics because they don’t smell the same to me. Close, but still distictly different. For one thing skunk musk makes me want to puke whereas I find the smell of skunk #1 to be very pleasing. It’s been a few years since I came to the realization that there actually are people who find the smell of cannabis to be unpleasant. While I find the concept mind boggling I accept it as true. I’ve also wondered if the plant smells attractive to people who are short on endogenous cannabinoids and not so good to those who have endo-cannabinoid systems that are fully functional. To me the smell of cannabis couldn’t smell better. I’ve often wondered why perfume companies don’t make a perfume that smells like cannabis. Heck, that would be one way to destroy probable cause based on a cop catching a whiff, but I think it should happen simply because it’s such a pleasant smell.

    I still recall the first time I walked into a medical cannabis vendor’s establishment in California. I thought that I’d died and gone to heaven it smelled so darn good.

  • 4walls

    So what if they were being polite? It is called fascism with a smile. Prohibition is wrong whether it wears full body armor or a tie-dye.

  • darkcycle

    Out here by the Rez, we have lots of run-over skunks. While it’s true they do smell different, if you get the right skunk on a hot day, after it’s been ‘aged’ just right, it’ll fool the most seasoned grower. I know, it’s fooled me before. But I’ve always though the sheer abundance of stripey critters dead on the roads hereabouts made for good cover. In the late summer they’re ubiquitous.

  • John

    If this had happened in the US, the cops would have shot the skunk and booked it into evidence. They’d say someone tipped the grower off about the raid and accuse the homeowner of placing the skunk on his property in an effort to obstruct justice.

  • John

    Then they would seize his property.

  • David Marsh

    Duncan, There are ten species of skunks. Eight of which range from Canada to central South America. The other two are from Indonesia and the Philippines.

    I wonder if a drug dog would false alert on a Conepatus humboldtii – A Humboldt’s Hog-nosed Skunk?

    Do you suppose the boys in Humboldt County have a secret weapon? An organic security system, sick’em Peppy.

  • darkcycle

    Such variety in skunks, who’da thunk?

  • denmark

    Does it get any more ridiculous? Yes, however, this is up there with Best Bloopers. And we’re supposed to have some respect for LEO?

    “Humboldt County have a secret weapon”
    From what I’ve heard it’s a county that looks out for each other.

  • Rick Steeb

    How did the “Skunk Train” get its name? Does Willits have a large skunk population or is it the herb?

  • Duncan20903

    Conepatus humboldtii oh now that’s just too fucking funny. I pulled a muscle on my right side and am thanking my lucky ducks that I didn’t have a mouthful of Dr Pepper when I read your note. Still more evidence that I’m in a persistent vegetative state and this is all just a product of my deluded imagination filling in the spaces while I’m persisting.

    I mean come on now, a friggin’ Humboldt skunk? Did he evolve because the potheads genetically engineered him to be 20-50x more potent that your 1960s hippie dippy flower children garden variety of skunk? Anyway that project backfired and they found that you might survive eating quart of hash oil but these skunks had reached lethal potency so they shipped them down to god forsaken southern South America. Bleeding hearts I tell you!

    Why didn’t these stupid hippies just wait for the DEA swat team to arrive and serve the most recent search warrant? . The cops would have shot all the skunks dead because of their prejudice against household pets. Problem solved.
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    Say did everyone hear that the whacko in Arizona’s best friend swears the nutcake didn’t smoke pot? Probably too late anyway, the damage is done.
    —————————————————————————————————————-

    I’ve taken up learning a new language and it’s a really weird one. The words of this language mean exactly what the speaker intends them to mean. It’s in the behind the looking glass family of languages but I think if I can get high enough I just might have a crack at it.

    Regardless I’m not sure I’ll be able to make a profit learning Know Nothing prohibitionist so it’s just for funsies.

    I guess it’s possible that it might be profitable because as I said above there just aren’t very many people outside of their degenerate sub-human race that understand what a Know Nothing prohibitionist is jibbering about. Jibber Jabber indeed.

    I guess I’m kinda skeptical that anyone would want to hear what a Know Nothing would have to say badly enough to hire a professional interpreter.

    They are dull, dull people who almost never get arrested so we can’t even force them into treatment. There’ is likely no opportunity for suckling at the municipal teat because of that..

    The Know Nothings never listen to what anyone else says so one of them is highly unlikely to be in interested in retaining an interpreter and they might require a urine test when they do.
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    Skunk Train? Wasn’t that that Saturday afternoon music shows for Negroes back when they could still be called Negroes and do so using a tone of common human respect in your voice?

  • Matthew Meyer

    Rick, I rode the Skunk Train in my Mama’s belly, and later on my honeymoon. At the train they say the name comes from the stinky fuel burned by the kind of locomotive that used to run the line from Willits to Fort Bragg on the coast. You could smell it before you saw it, they say. I imagine that wandering in the Mendocino woods around harvest time you might smell something perhaps similar even today.