Marijuana Grow-ops, To Be Addressed at B.C. Forum

Marijuana Grow-ops, To Be Addressed at B.C. Forum
Posted by CN Staff on March 10, 2003 at 18:40:14 PT
By The Canadian Press 
Source: Canadian Press 
Vancouver  Crown prosecutors and the judiciary need to hear more about pressures faced by B.C. police investigating marijuana grow-operations and other criminal activities, the province's Solicitor-General said Monday."An example is marijuana grow-ops where we have a huge pressure that's tied into the outlaw motorcycle gangs, organized crime and cocaine and the gun trade," Rich Coleman said outside a meeting of B.C. federal, provincial and civic leaders.
Politicians from the three levels of government attending the congress heard earlier that the B.C. government would host a so-called "dialogue on crime" later in the year.The forum should bring together the judiciary, Crown prosecutors, police and the public to discuss ways to reorganize and integrate policing, Mr. Coleman said.He compared the drug situation in British Columbia's Fraser Valley region to nearby Whatcom County in northern Washington state."We will deal with 2,000 or 3,000 grow-ops that we'll take down in the Fraser Valley this year," Mr. Coleman said.By contrast police in the neighbouring U.S. county deal with 10 or 15 such cases a year, he said.The difference appears to be that American criminals face tougher penalties including jail time, fines and seizure of assets, he said."Our studies show up to seven convictions sometimes and people still are not being incarcerated," Mr. Coleman said. "That is not acceptable if we are going to push back on crime."The dialogue will be for "everybody" he said, but noted the judiciary and Crown prosecutors "really have to understand the overall interlinking of the drug trade and how it affects our communities."I think they need to hear more about it."A co-ordinated federal and provincial enforcement response is necessary to deal with marijuana grow-operations, said Canadian Alliance MP John Duncan, who addressed the congress."It is now a multi-billion-dollar criminal activity," he said outside the meeting. "It's going to take a co-ordinated response and if we don't do it the Americans are going to do it for us."Mr. Duncan also called on the B.C. government to take a clear stand on the issue of safe-injection sites.Proponents want to set up safe-injection sites in Vancouver's drug-infested Downtown Eastside in an effort to reduce overdose deaths and the spread of HIV and other diseases."Safe injection sites require the police to turn a blind eye to people walking in with heroin, cocaine, et cetera," Mr. Duncan said. "What is the provincial position on this?"The B.C. government has already staked out its position on the issue, Premier Gordon Campbell said outside the meeting.Injections sites have to be legal, the Premier said."We've been clear, we need a national framework for this," he said.Health Canada issued guidelines late last year for how safe-injection drug sites would operate at pilot sites, likely in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority submitted a proposal to install injection sites at two downtown locations last week. The crime dialogue was one of numerous B.C. government initiatives, including health care and transportation spending, that were outlined at the second annual congress.The B.C. Liberal government launched the congress after it was elected in May 2001. The one-day meetings were designed to draw together leaders from all levels of government, as well as opposition politicians. Complete Title: Marijuana Grow-ops, Organized Crime To Be Addressed at B.C. Forum Source: Canadian Press Published: Monday, March 10, 2003Copyright: 2003 The Canadian PressRelated Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Strategy Before Pot Factories Time for National Debate Say 'Yes' - Maclean's Magazine
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Comment #3 posted by Big Trees on March 12, 2003 at 14:31:48 PT
He has a point...
Ya sure there making millions good point, make cannabis legal in the morning and make sugar illegal and see if they would not be makeing sugar factories in BC.
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Comment #2 posted by observer on March 10, 2003 at 20:48:01 PT
''get some decent sentencing done''
''The forum should bring together the judiciary, Crown prosecutors, police and the public to discuss ways to reorganize and integrate policing, Mr. Coleman said.''Oh to "to reorganize and integrate policing", is it? I bet he really means, "to increase jailtime for all growers."''The difference appears to be that American criminals face tougher penalties including jail time, fines and seizure of assets, he said.''There we go. He's licking his chops over the prospect of "bonuses" from "seizing" (read: stealing) property from prople who's only crime was growing some plants. This reminds me of a Monty Python Flying Circus sketch quip about Apartheid-era South Africa.''Judge: Contempt of court. However, I'm not going to punish you, because we're so short of judges at the moment, what with all of them emigrating to South Africa. I'm going tomorrow; I've got my ticket. Get out there and get some decent sentencing done. Best I can manage here is life imprisonment. It's hardly worth coming in in the morning. Now, South Africa? You've got your cat of nine tails, you've got four death sentences a week, you've got...'', you can see non-US police drool with anticipation over the loot and spoils. Like the police-state police in the US get to do to *their* victims. Of course it is "all for the children." No vested interest there.
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on March 10, 2003 at 20:07:32 PT
Legality solves grow-op problem
Make cannabis legal again and the grow-op problem goes away. It should be legal from the grower to the consumer. It will then be just another crop. There will be no huge profit margins. If criminals stay involved at least this will not be a criminal activity. 
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