Giant Cloud Of (What's Likely Pot) Smoke Hangs Over Europe's 'Cannabis Capital' Amid Massive Police Raid

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This is a giant cloud of what's believed to be pot smoke hanging over a village that's been dubbed Europe's "cannabis capital":

lazarat pot

Smoke rises from Lazarat village, 230 kilometers (140 miles) south of capital Tirana, Tuesday, June 17, 2014, allegedly from villagers burning their cannabis ahead of the police raid.

According to the Associated Press, "plumes of pungent smoke" blanketed the Albanian village of Lazarat Tuesday. The smoke allegedly came from villagers burning their stashes of cannabis ahead of a massive police raid.

Lazarat, said to be the largest illegal marijuana producer in Europe, produces some 900 tons of cannabis annually, according to the BBC. That's estimated to be worth about $6 billion -- equal to about half of Albania's total gross domestic product, the outlet notes.

Hundreds of Albanian police stormed the village this week in the hope of ridding the town of drug gangs.

A police statement Thursday said officers have established control throughout the village, per the AP. About 13 tons of marijuana and 80,000 plants were reportedly seized and destroyed in the raid.

lazarat

Albanian police seize marijuana in a storage building in the lawless village of Lazarat, 230 kilometers (140 miles) south of capital Tirana, Wednesday, June 18, 2014.