Copenhagen police say they are conducting raids against organized hashish sale at Copenhagen's famed Christiania hippie neighborhood, in one of the largest police actions where the drug is openly sold.

Police spokesman Poul Kjeldsen says at least 17 people were detained Friday after helmeted police entered the downtown enclave, created in 1971 when hippies squatted at a former navy barracks.

He declined to say how many officers were involved. The TV2 channel aired footage showing officers with chain saws cutting up wooden stalls in Pusher Street, where the illegal hashish is sold.

Kjeldsen said Christiania's annual hashish sale is of about 1 billion kroner ($151 million).

Since a large action in 2014, police regularly conduct raids there, sometimes sparking clashes.