- tiffany turnbull
- BBC News, Sydney
When a rosy glow lit up the afternoon sky over the Australian town of Mildura, in northern Victoria, Tammy Szumowski wondered if the apocalypse had arrived.
“She was just acting like a calm, relaxed mother, telling the kids: ‘There’s nothing to worry about,'” she told the BBC.
“But in my head I thought, what the hell is that?”
Like other stunned locals, Szumowski’s mind initially ran to the strangest thing: An alien invasion? An asteroid?
“My mom was on the phone and you could hear my dad in the background saying, ‘I’d better hurry up and have my tea because the world is ending’“.
“My mom was like, ‘What’s the point of having your tea if the world is ending?'”
Another local, Nikea Champion, thought it was a very bright red moon, before realizing that the light was originating from the ground.
“All these doomsday scenarios were going through my head,” he told the BBC.
“I was having a great time Strange things. It was like, Vecna? Is that you?” She said, referring to the great villain of the Netflix series.
But both of them were completely wrong.
Secret farm exposed
Medical cannabis was legalized in Australia in 2016, but recreational use of the drug is prohibited.
Since then, some 260,000 prescriptions have been approved for a variety of illnesses.
The most common reason for prescriptions is chronic pain, followed by anxiety and sleep disorders, according to data from the Australian Department of Health.
There are few marijuana cultivation facilities and their locations are Y secret for security reasons. But now a farm has been exposed.
On these farms, lights with reddish tint are used to help the crop grow. Blackout blinds typically go down at dusk.
On Wednesday, those at the farm near Mildura did not work, according to a spokesman for the manufacturer Cann Group.
And because it was a cloudy night, the lights created a “sunset on steroids” that could be seen almost an hour from the facilities.
“I laughed out loud… it could have been something much cooler, but They were basically just medical marijuana grow lights.said Mrs. Champion.
Szumowski said they had also “laughed a lot.”
Despite her initial panic, she was impressed by the beauty of the light show: “I think it was great, they should do it more often.”
There has been a steady growth in the number of countries legalizing marijuana use since the turn of the millennium.
In the US, some 38 states have legalized the use of medical marijuana and around 48 million people used the drug in the US in 2019, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The drug is also available to people with certain medical conditions in several European Union countries, including France, Belgium, and Ireland, as well as New Zealand.
Now you can receive notifications from BBC World. Download the new version of our app and activate it so you don’t miss out on our best content.