The main boulevards in Kazakhstan's capitol of Astana are covered with cannabis.
"So far we have not yet ascertained who planted them, but the investigation and tests are ongoing," a government spokesman stated. "If they are marijuana plants as is alleged on social media, we will remove them immediately."
The gardening company Astana-Zelenstory is responsible for planting the city's flower beds.
Marijuana grows wild in Southern Kazakhstan in the Chu Valley (see photo below), which borders Kyrgyzstan. According to the country's news site Ak Zhaik, it's "home to some of the most infamous - and potent - pot in the world." About 350,000 acres of marijuana sprout up yearly in the region, which is twice the size of France, leading the daughter of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, Darigha, to propose that they "lease some of (their) treasured cannabis fields to international pharmaceutical companies."
"I suggest we review out attitude to cannabis," she said in 2014.
Kazahhstan declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.