Three Prince Edward Island residents were arrested last weekend after breaking into a hops farm and causing extensive damage.
The reason? They apparently thought the 20-foot tall hop bines were huge marijuana plants and were intending to walk away with the stash of the century.
The hops farmer called the police when he saw three people wandering around near his farm buildings, according to CBC News.
When police arrived, they found two men and one woman, who had already caused “extensive damage” to the farm’s crop, which was packaged for shipping.
Their excuse to police?
“The three adults told RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] members that they thought there was marijuana growing on the farm,” the police said.
Were these folks so stoned that they confused hops and weed? Actually, they are related, sort of. Hops and marijuana can be similar in taste, smell and appearance.
The chemical reason for these similarities is strongly founded in the terpenes, which are the compounds that give both marijuana and hops their unique smell.
People can often identify different strains of marijuana by their smell. The same goes for hops and beer.
Even though hops and marijuana are closely related species, they grow in completely different ways.
Therefore, one would assume that with a cursory glance at a hops farm and just the slightest knowledge of what a pot plant looks like, one would clearly see the difference between a bush and a tall, climbing vine.