The Italian Almanac

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A 60-year-old woman was taken into custody after police discovered almost 700 cannabis plants growing on a terrace of her villa. Investigators said the top-floor terrace of the villa in Dolo near Venice had been transformed into a massive greenhouse in which the retired university librarian had planted 670 of the drug plants.

They said they found a large quantity of dried cannabis that was ready for use inside the villa. The woman told police she cultivated the drug for personal use only, saying it made her "cheerful" and had helped her quit smoking tobacco. She reportedly boasted of her green fingers, telling police that her cannabis was "the best to be had" in her neighbourhood because she dedicated nearly all her time to caring for the plants.

"It's a real passion," she told them. The woman's 28-year-old son, who was also taken into custody, told investigators that he had long pleaded with his mother to give up her hobby but to no avail.