cannabisnews.com: Ontario Introduces Legislation To Stop MJ Grows





Ontario Introduces Legislation To Stop MJ Grows
Posted by CN Staff on October 19, 2004 at 08:25:36 PT
By The Canadian Press 
Source: Canadian Press 
Toronto -- Ontario will introduce legislation to fight the growing problem of homes being converted into indoor marijuana farms, which has become an estimated $1 billion-a-year business in the province, Public Safety Minister Monte Kwinter said Tuesday. "The legislation we are introducing today will make our communities safer by helping local authorities identify and combat grow ops," said Kwinter. 
The bill would allow local hydro companies to disconnect power without notice to homes being used as marijuana grow ops, as long as police first obtain a court order. It would also double the maximum fines under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act for tampering with electrical wiring, something commonly done in grow ops to hide their large power consumption. Any home that police confirm is being used to grow marijuana would have to be inspected before it could be used again for housing. If the legislation is passed, authorities could also seize assets from grow ops, including real estate and vehicles, and spend the funds raised on law enforcement or in compensating victims. Grow ops "fuel the trafficking of guns and hard drugs while threatening the health and safety of our communities," said Kwinter. "This is a battle the police can't fight alone," provincial police Det. Chief Supt. Frank Ryder said in a release. Complete Title: Ontario Introduces Legislation To Stop Indoor Marijuana Grow OperationsSource: Canadian PressPublished: October 19, 2004Copyright: 2004 The Canadian PressCannabis News Canadian Linkshttp://freedomtoexhale.com/can.htmCannabisNews -- Canada Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/Canada.shtml 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 19, 2004 at 08:32:54 PT
Related Article from Canada Newswire
New Legislation Will Help Combat Residential Indoor Marijuana Grow Operations First Step In McGuinty Government's Strategy TORONTO, Oct. 19 /CNW/ - New legislation to be introduced in the Legislature today is the first step in the McGuinty government's strategy to get tough on marijuana grow operations, Monte Kwinter, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, said today. "Indoor marijuana grow ops in Ontario are a billion-dollar-a-year business, one that fuels the trafficking of guns and hard drugs while threatening the health and safety of our communities," Kwinter said. "In March of this year, at our Green Tide Summit, police and the private sector asked for the tools to go after grow ops. We are providing them. The legislation we are introducing today will, if passed, make our communities safer by helping local authorities identify and combat grow ops." "The McGuinty government, the private sector and the policing community are united in our efforts to rid our communities of these operations," Kwinter said. "We intend to do everything in our power to shut them down."The proposed legislation, if passed, would:- allow local hydro distribution companies to disconnect hydro without notice in accordance with a court order or for emergency, safety or system reliability reasons - such as a grow op; - require building inspections of all homes that police confirm contained a grow op. If buildings are deemed unsafe, inspectors are required to issue orders for repair; and, - amend the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, by doubling the maximum penalties under the act for any contraventions of the Ontario Fire Code, such as tampering with wiring that would cause excessive heating that would lead to a fire, something commonly done in grow ops.The proposed legislation also provides for setting up a special purpose account so that the proceeds of seized assets from grow ops and other such criminal activities - for example, real estate, vehicles and other equipment - can be spent on enforcement, crime prevention and compensating victims. As part of the government's ongoing strategy to combat grow ops - and in response to recommendations from the Green Tide Summit - Kwinter also announced the formation of an Action Group. Made up of government, police and private sector representatives, the Action Group will meet regularly to develop integrated plans to fight the problem. The financial, insurance and electrical authorities have all agreed to participate. The Action Group's first meeting is tomorrow. "It's important that government, police and the hydro, insurance and financial sectors continue to work together to eradicate marijuana grow operations," OACP President Chief Paul Hamelin said. "The Green Tide Summit succeeded in raising public awareness to the serious threats posed by grow ops, which are largely controlled by organized crime. We are pleased that progress is being made in controlling this menace to our communities." "This is a fight the police can't battle alone," said Ontario Provincial Police Detective Chief Superintendent Frank Ryder. "With a concerted effort by all our stakeholders, our neighbourhood and communities will be safer places to live." "By continuing to work together, I know we will ultimately win and our communities will be safer and more liveable for us all," Kwinter said.BackgrounderMARIJUANA GROW OPERATIONS AND THE GREEN TIDE REPORTIn 2003, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police produced a report called Green Tide: Indoor Marijuana Cultivation and Its Impact on Ontario. Here are highlights from that report:- In 2002, grow ops were estimated to have cost Ontario nearly $100 million. As much as 85 per cent of these financial losses stem from the large amounts of electricity that grow house operators routinely steal from Ontario's electrical utilities.- The likelihood of fire in a grow op dwelling is as much as 40 times greater than the likelihood of fire in a typical private dwelling in Ontario.- Children are at risk from grow op activity, as families of 'crop sitters' sometimes live in grow ops to add an air of legitimacy to the operation. As many as 10,000 children may have resided in grow op dwellings over the 2000-2003 period.- In 2002, in the York, Peel and Waterloo regions combined, 17 per cent of grow ops were located within 500 metres of a primary or secondary school.- There is a health risk for those living in grow houses from the mould associated with hydroponic cultivation, the chemicals used to foster plant growth and the high concentrations of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in such operations.In 2001, Toronto Police Service dismantled 33 indoor marijuana operations. In 2003, that number rose to 140. To date in 2004, they have dismantled 248 indoor operations with a street value of more than $83.2 million.Disponible en franšais mpss.jus.gov.on.caFor further information: Adrian Dafoe, Minister's Office, (416) 325-4973, (416) 998-2829 (cellular); Bruce O'Neill, Communications Branch, (416) 326-5005. http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2004/19/c1861.html
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