High Times for Grow Ops Despite Busts

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Nov 28, 2002.

  1. Global BC - Reporting by Marisa Taylor
    Source: Global BC

    How many illegal marijuana grow operations would you estimate Vancouver police busted last week? Twenty? 30? Even 40? If you'll pardon the pun, the actual number is much higher.
    Last week -- in just a seven-day period -- officers uncovered more than 60 grow ops, part of a coordinated nationwide crackdown. The Vancouver raids were part of a massive operation targeting indoor marijuana cultivation.

    Across the country, 73,000 marijuana plants valued at $73 million were seized, and 163 people arrested.

    It's the third wave of Operation Greensweep, and police were touting the results Tuesday. But even the officers involved in the initiative wonder if such crackdowns are worth it.

    "We're finding that the vast majority of people convicted for marijuana grow ops are receiving conditional sentences," says Cst. Tim Shields.

    "In addition they're receiving fines of anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000 on average. And in plain terms that equates to about three plants that it will take in order to cover that fine.

    "Keep in mind this is coming from a home that may have contained 500 plants."

    So why do they keep up the pressure? Marijuana cultivation contributes to a wave of other crimes including "home invasions, burglaries, assaults, extortions, kidnappings, shootings and even murders," says Insp. Kash Heed of Vancouver Police.

    Police intelligence suggests that up to 85 per cent of the high-quality "B.C. bud" grown in these mostly suburban homes is going across the border.

    In fact, a University College of the Fraser Valley study suggests grow ops increased 220 per cent in the region between 1997 and 2000 -- helping to earn this area the nickname Colombia North.

    This proliferation has made marijuana another contentious cross-border issue with the United States.

    So for now, the crackdowns will continue. With the kinds of profits involved for the criminals, it seems clear that so, too, will the grow ops.

    Source: Global TV (Vancouver)
    Published: Tuesday, November 26, 2002
    Copyright: 2002 BCTV News on Global, CanWest Interactive
    Contact: http://www.canada.com/aboutus/contactus/
    Website: http://www.canada.com/vancouver/globaltv/

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