For many years it has been known in NSW Northern Rivers that persons growing marijuana
prefer to keep "at the long arm of the law", in remote localities and/or with dispersed growing
The hilly, sometimes steep country of parts of Byron Shire have been often 'preferred habitat' for growers and dealers, with ready access to an alternative, recreational locale and towns where any crop might be sold.
Tricks with Camphor Laurel Trees
1. Large 'Paddock Camphors' of the climbable kind have had rope-rigs set up high in the tallest, central branches, with buckets raised by pulley, containing pots of plants in enough water/hydroponic mix for a day or more.
2. Tunnel Tents in polythene/shadehouse covering, set under a broad spreading old Camphor laurel can effectively 'double hide' a young crop from spying helicopters, since the light wavelength emitted by marijuana is concealed.
3. 'Dirty Farms' - with many Camphors, Privets and weeds - are easy to go and hide in when the helicopters pass by; the more Camphors you have to go under, the less likely you get spotted from the air. Also, 'helicopter police' do not like crawling into/under Lantana/Camphor undergrowth, and it is well known that most Lantana grows better under/with Camphor laurel trees.
4. It is alleged that the light emitted wavelength arising from Camphor, when detected from the air, is very close to that of marijuana.
5. SAFROLE and CAMPHOR OILS; BASE MANUFACTURING COMPOUNDS! The more toxic types of Camphor laurel contain Safrole in the bark-cambium (in Australia). To be able to distil both Safrole and Camphor oils from all the bark represents a 'double whammy' for druggies who have some distillation/manufacturing skills. After all, only a simple kitchen area is needed and the 'recipe' is not complex; well-read drug enthusiasts can find the Chemistry formulas and instructions in certain key Chemistry textbooks.
Recreational drugs such as and including ECSTASY were first made from Camphor oil by young chemists in Germany in the late 1980s. As yet, it is not known how many young people may have died from ecstasy tablets made from Camphor laurel oil. Whilst other surrounding Shires are also involved, Trickiness' is considered most prevalent in Byron Shire, especially since Green Party Councillors of Byron Shire favour the 'recreational use' of certain drugs - as is Green Party Policy.