Thursday, January 29, 2004

Ontario plans summit to battle pot grow-ops

Canadian Press

TORONTO — The Ontario government will convene a summit of political and private-sector interests in March to find ways to stop the spread of marijuana grow houses, a government source said Wednesday.

The Green Tide summit will co-ordinate the efforts of police, fire departments, hydro utilities and insurance companies in an effort to uncover and close down marijuana-growing sites, the source said.

Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter was expected to provide details of the summit at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

The gathering is expected to involve municipal and provincial politicians, private companies and others affected by illegal pot operations, not just law enforcement officials.

Ontario's Landord and Tenant Act is also likely to come under review at the summit in an effort to make it easier for police to gain access to suspected marijuana-growing operations, known as grow-ops.

The illegal but profitable operations are often set up in residential neighbourhoods, stealing electricity to power high-intensity lights and fans for grow-op purposes.

Officials say grow-ops are springing up across the province, posing a serious fire risk to people living beside them.

Toronto police found two grow houses in two hours Tuesday night after firefighters discovered the illegal operations. Police in nearby Barrie also recently discovered the largest marijuana grow house in Canadian history inside a former brewery.

1 Comment:

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