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Marijuana 'grow houses' booming (CANUCK STONER ALERT)
The Ottawa Citizen ^ | Wednesday, November 27, 2002 | Janice Tibbetts

Posted on 11/29/2002 11:03:18 AM PST by Sparta

Grow houses, such as this residence raided in January on Inuvik Crescent in Kanata, are often dangerous firetraps because the growers bypass hydro meters to obtain the massive amounts of electricity to power the heat lamps and other paraphernalia to surreptitiously grow the plants.

Homegrown marijuana has blossomed into a huge industry that collects billions of dollars annually, officials say.

Police say there are at least 50,000 houses in Canada that are now used exclusively to grow marijuana, ranging from new homes worth as much as $600,000 in downtown Vancouver to more modest residences sprinkled through the suburban streets of Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

The law enforcement, hydro and real estate industries -- conceding they are losing the battle against "this present and clear danger" -- came to Parliament Hill yesterday to call for an end to lax criminal sanctions against growers.

"This is a community safety issue," said David Griffin, executive director of the Canadian Police Association. "What this means to the public is theft of hydro, your insurance rates are affected and not the least of our concerns is the drug trafficking that is going on in our communities."

Police provided a detailed picture of the "grow houses," which they say are typically set up in suburban homes on the outskirts of Canada's largest cities.

What started as a West Coast phenomenon a decade ago spread across the Prairies to Central Canada about two years ago, and now the houses are starting to crop up in the Atlantic region.

"They are everywhere," said Staff Sgt. Marc Pinault of Ottawa, the RCMP's new national co-ordinator of marijuana grow operations.

The growers do not normally live on the premises, but some hire decoy families to either live in the homes or drop by often enough to keep police and neighbours at bay. The homes are often equipped with TVs and lights programmed to come on daily. The lawns are cut and snow is removed regularly.

But there are clues that something is amiss, police said. The windows and curtains are always closed. The smell can be pungent. Growers often smash large holes in the concrete foundation to route underground cables.

The hydro industry says consumers are paying the price because growers illegally tap into the power supply for the massive quantities of electricity they need to operate high-voltage lamps and maintain hothouse temperatures, draining the system of hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Another main concern is that the operations release chemical toxins and fumes and the houses are a fire hazard, with their often-overloaded heating and wiring systems.

The insurance industry says the fire risk could lead to a general rate increase.

The grow operations now bring in billions of dollars in profit annually. Police say 95 per cent of them are run by criminal gangs, who smuggle their marijuana to the U.S. for sale.

In Ontario, it is estimated that residential growing operations are a $1-billion-a-year business. There are about 10,000 grow houses in the Toronto area alone, officials say.

British Columbia remains the country's marijuana-growing capital, where the annual business is estimated to reap up to $6 billion.

The business is not confined to rundown rental properties. Growers are increasingly buying homes, and in some cases entire blocks are devoted to the lucrative business.

Police say they are particularly worried about children who live in the homes, which they say are death traps. In a national sweep last week, in which $73 million worth of plants was seized, authorities also found 43 children aged four months to 17 years.

Officials complained yesterday that when growers are caught, it is common for judges to impose fines or conditional sentences served at home instead of jail terms.

Growers, who can easily each take in $1 million in profit annually, see the penalties simply as the cost of doing business.

"Right now criminals are thumbing their nose," Dan McTeague, a Liberal MP from the Toronto-area constituency of Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge, said yesterday.

Solicitor General Wayne Easter conceded in the House of Commons that "we do need to do more" to fight the problem.


TOPICS: Canada; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bobmarleyfanclub; brownshirts; cannabisclub; canuckistan; dude; dudewheresmybong; dumembers; ganja; gonja; idiots; imonahigh; jazzmusicians; lpvoters; maryjane; pot; raustafarians; stoned; wodlist
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I've got the flame suit on, so flame away!!!
1 posted on 11/29/2002 11:03:18 AM PST by Sparta
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To: Sparta
It's really simple actually, just legalize marajuana then the growers don't have to use faulty power connections to grow their dope. They could then legally get their power turned on and monitored correctly so that there isn't any safety issues to deal with. But we all know that this won't provide any money to spend for the politicians so it will never happen. After all money is more important to them than the safety of their constituents.
2 posted on 11/29/2002 11:11:44 AM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: Sparta
Have you seen "Trailer Park Boys"? Set somewhere near Dartmouth, Nova Scotia...
3 posted on 11/29/2002 11:11:49 AM PST by anatolfz
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To: HELLRAISER II
But we all know that this won't provide any money to spend for the politicians so it will never happen.

Yeah it will. The revenue from taxes for growing it alone will be astronmical. Never mind selling it, consuming it, or when the process repeats itself because of the many uses for marijuana and hemp.
4 posted on 11/29/2002 11:22:16 AM PST by Sparta
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To: Sparta
The grow operations now bring in billions of dollars in profit annually. Police say 95 per cent of them are run by criminal gangs, who smuggle their marijuana to the U.S. for sale.

So how many billion dollars of U.S. money is going to Canada? I think if I were a Canadian economist, I'd say we change nothing, too!

P.S. Hey Sparta, I like the keywords, but that would be gAnga, not gOnga.

5 posted on 11/29/2002 11:22:57 AM PST by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: the_devils_advocate_666
Oops, that would be gAnja, not gOnja...
6 posted on 11/29/2002 11:25:32 AM PST by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: Sparta
Let me rephrase the statement "It won't provide any money for the WOD politicians."
7 posted on 11/29/2002 11:27:21 AM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: Sparta
If you look at the $$$$ involved, Canadastan cannot afford to outlaw these Junior Joe Kennedy types. They'll probably figure a way to prevent power theft and all will be happy.
8 posted on 11/29/2002 11:34:29 AM PST by bigfootbob
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To: bigfootbob
Canadastan

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

Sorry my friend, I like POD better (People's Dominion of Canadastan.)
9 posted on 11/29/2002 11:47:27 AM PST by Sparta
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To: *Wod_list
bump
10 posted on 11/29/2002 11:48:49 AM PST by Fish out of Water
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To: Sparta
POD=PDC
11 posted on 11/29/2002 11:51:16 AM PST by Sparta
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To: bigfootbob; All
If you look at the $$$$ involved, Canadastan cannot afford to outlaw these Junior Joe Kennedy types. They'll probably figure a way to prevent power theft and all will be happy

LOL!!!

12 posted on 11/29/2002 11:53:24 AM PST by Lael
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To: Sparta
Another main concern is that the operations release chemical toxins and fumes ...

What, oxygen?

13 posted on 11/29/2002 11:53:37 AM PST by Trailerpark Badass
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To: Trailerpark Badass
What, oxygen?

Why not? Pure oxygen is toxic, so it must be a toxin. I've seen it argued here that mj must be toxic, because it's intoxicating, so I think we have the logical groundwork already laid.

14 posted on 11/29/2002 12:11:15 PM PST by tacticalogic
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To: HELLRAISER II
Everything they're complaining about here are direct artifacts of Prohibition. People never learn.
15 posted on 11/29/2002 12:14:05 PM PST by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie
One only has to look at Alcohol to see that prohibition did not & will not work, it's only a matter of time.
16 posted on 11/29/2002 12:18:00 PM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: Trailerpark Badass
Long ago (in my wilder days) I knew a man who grew his own, in his own house.

He had the crawl space dug out under his house for headroom, topsoil brought in, grow lights, even water lines for irrigation.

Electricity wasn't an issue --- he only grew enough for his own use and therefore his lights compared to maybe one extra major appliance.

I don't know about toxicity, but the smell that permeated his whole house was unmistakeable. He wasn't fooling anyone with a nose.

17 posted on 11/29/2002 12:18:33 PM PST by ZOOKER
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To: Sparta
Ahhh....prohibition and unbridled capitalism. An amazing formula for getting rich quick! Let's be sure to keep people from growing their own pot. Let's be sure to keep up the war on pot. Let's be sure that the business stays obscenely profitable!!
18 posted on 11/29/2002 12:19:15 PM PST by hove
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To: HELLRAISER II
Canadian Police are fighting for their jobs, that's all. In certain parts of Canada, they can't even enforce possession laws because the people won't stand for it. Its been de-facto legalized in B.C., for example. The whole "dangerous grow house" gambit is just the latest in a dying cause.
19 posted on 11/29/2002 12:25:59 PM PST by Wolfie
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To: ZOOKER
Just recently a fellow here in my home town got busted for basically the same kind of operation, except he was growing his in an underground room that was under a Farrowing pen (Pig Nursery). The police were baffled by the case with this guy because he obviously wasn't working, yet spending a great bit of money and yet he never left the house. The way he got busted was by the local power company finding out that he illegally hooked up & stole power through the power lines. By the way it does take considerable amounts of Electricity for hydroponics.
20 posted on 11/29/2002 12:26:18 PM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: ZOOKER
I don't know about toxicity, but the smell that permeated his whole house was unmistakeable. He wasn't fooling anyone with a nose.

That's what ozone generators are for. Perhaps that's what they meant by "toxic fumes."

21 posted on 11/29/2002 12:26:34 PM PST by Trailerpark Badass
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To: Wolfie; vin-one; WindMinstrel; headsonpikes; philman_36; Beach_Babe; jenny65; AUgrad; Xenalyte; ...
WOD Ping
22 posted on 11/29/2002 12:30:48 PM PST by jmc813
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To: Wolfie
I don't know if you remember or not but Dan Rather had a special back about 5 years ago called the "Pot Of Gold". The little town I live in was featured as was our local Sheriff, our town had a bad reputation for growing dope. So what did they do, the state of Georgia formed 2 Task forces to patrol our county & told our local law enforcement they were coming and they better stay out of their way. Most people don't realize the money involved with this big business on both sides of the law.
23 posted on 11/29/2002 12:31:56 PM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: HELLRAISER II
Some parts of Kentucky thrive on growing. They even elect Sheriffs who promise to have a hands off policy. Its big business, no doubt.
24 posted on 11/29/2002 12:42:41 PM PST by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie
I believe that there were some people from Kentucky as well that were also on that News special. Just for the record I don't remember if it was Dan or Peter Jennings (ABC).
25 posted on 11/29/2002 12:45:30 PM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: Sparta
With any luck, all those terrorists that Canukastan lets in will get stoned and forget their mission to kill infidels in America.
26 posted on 11/29/2002 12:47:17 PM PST by TERMINATTOR
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To: Wolfie
Canadian Police are fighting for their jobs, that's all. In certain parts of Canada, they can't even enforce possession laws because the people won't stand for it. Its been de-facto legalized in B.C., for example. The whole "dangerous grow house" gambit is just the latest in a dying cause.

Only partially true, the real losers in all this has been property owners. The people who are growing large commercial amounts rarely own the house and are leasing or renting. They come in, knock down walls, rip out carpet and basically trash the house. Once the harvest is complete they simply split leaving the landowner to repair the property. The insurance companies have taken notice and are increasing rates on everyone.

27 posted on 11/29/2002 1:00:14 PM PST by usurper
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To: usurper
Not really shocking behavior, considering that they're engaged in an illegal activity in the first place. Like I said, its all part and parcel to Prohibition.
28 posted on 11/29/2002 1:15:33 PM PST by Wolfie
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To: Sparta
Looks like they have a couple options?

Enforcement: Increase taxes and make the nation a police state, which will increase market value and profit margins for growers because of reduced supply. A never ending escalation on both sides, until anarchy or revolt.

Legalization: Tax it, set up treatment programs, and raise a nation of potheads. Let the economy collapse and maybe they wise up.


As long as demand remains, the stuff will be a marketable product.
29 posted on 11/29/2002 1:47:15 PM PST by Rain-maker
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To: Rain-maker
Enforcement: Increase taxes and make the nation a police state, which will increase market value and profit margins for growers because of reduced supply. A never ending escalation on both sides, until anarchy or revolt.

Legalization: Tax it, set up treatment programs, and raise a nation of potheads. Let the economy collapse and maybe they wise up.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

In Canada's case, they got the worst of both worlds.
30 posted on 11/29/2002 1:49:43 PM PST by Sparta
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To: the_devils_advocate_666; All
Feel free to add some more keywords.
31 posted on 11/29/2002 1:51:19 PM PST by Sparta
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: Master-Kon
Welcome to Free Republic, but I wouldn't make my first two posts agitating some of the conservatives on here.

Nonetheless, I agree with you and welcome to FR.
33 posted on 11/29/2002 2:10:13 PM PST by Sparta
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: Master-Kon
If you don't support drug legalization, this conservative wonders how the hell can you call yourself a libertarian?
35 posted on 11/29/2002 2:22:37 PM PST by Sparta
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To: Sparta
In Canada's case, they got the worst of both worlds

Actually they(Canada) got the worst of one world. The world of non existant differences between modern Libertarian and Socialist views on drugs and other social issues(abortion, porn, etc. etc.).

Both ideaologies revel in the mantra that "drugs aren't bad and are "freedom"". The only difference is that both modern day Libertarians and Socilaists will look at a pollution power sucking pot farm and say "cool dude", while looking at a factory that produces wealth and products that benefit prople, the socialist will say "evil capitalist pig slave farm", while the Libertarian will say, "Oh come on that ain't so bad, but the pot farm is way cooler."

36 posted on 11/29/2002 2:25:02 PM PST by Dane
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: Master-Kon
Thanks for the clarification. Anyway, welcome to Free Republic. You have found a home here and you probably explain Libertarian views better than anyone else on here.
38 posted on 11/29/2002 2:32:54 PM PST by Sparta
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To: HELLRAISER II
It's really simple actually, just legalize marajuana then the growers don't have to use faulty power connections to grow their dope.

Moron Alert!!

And all banks have to do is store their money on the sidewalk and we can do away with bank robberies too...

39 posted on 11/29/2002 2:36:13 PM PST by Publius6961
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To: Publius6961
Moron alert? If you think that legalizing pot is the same as putting cash on the sidewalk instead of bank vaults than your the one that needs the Moron alert
40 posted on 11/29/2002 2:43:55 PM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: Sparta
" ... electricity they need to operate high-voltage lamps .."

Wow. That sounds worse than "automatic assault rifles".

Okay 5 day waiting period before anyone can buy "high-voltage lamps". It's for the children.

41 posted on 11/29/2002 3:24:24 PM PST by dread78645
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To: Sparta
I got one down side for legalization for you. The price drops, large corporate farms start, the little guys can't compete and go out of buisness, and everyone starts hitting up the government for price supports.......Legalization could be a whole new employement scam for legions of government types.
42 posted on 11/29/2002 4:39:06 PM PST by Leisler
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To: Leisler
Good point. The socialists will find a way to milk marijuana legalization for their big government programs.
43 posted on 11/29/2002 4:45:20 PM PST by Sparta
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To: HELLRAISER II
Let me rephrase the statement "It won't provide any money for the WOD politicians."

But the biggest losers would growers themselves. If marijuana were legal - NAFTA and free trade will put them out of business. The stuff will be grown cheaper and better in warm Third World countries.

44 posted on 11/29/2002 5:48:38 PM PST by A. Pole
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To: Dane
The only difference is that both modern day Libertarians and Socilaists will look at a pollution power sucking pot farm and say "cool dude", while looking at a factory that produces wealth and products that benefit prople, the socialist will say "evil capitalist pig slave farm", while the Libertarian will say, "Oh come on that ain't so bad, but the pot farm is way cooler."

Hey, you're actually getting closer.
:-b

Would you mind documenting this "pollution" that pot farms allegedly produce though? What kind of "pollution"?

45 posted on 11/29/2002 8:18:35 PM PST by MadameAxe
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To: Master-Kon
We can fight drugs and usage from another angle rather than using government power.

There's one way to do that: eliminate all public sources of aid for substance abusers. Let the cost of abuse - including alcohol and tobacco - fall on the abuser, and any private source of charity he may talk into supporting him.

46 posted on 11/29/2002 9:50:11 PM PST by BlazingArizona
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To: HELLRAISER II
"They could then legally get their power turned on..."

Why would they do this? I guess because they'd be so happy that pot's legal, they'll agree to pay for something they've been getting for free?

I've seen you make better arguments.

47 posted on 11/30/2002 11:08:46 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: Sparta
Master-Kon is one of those Libertarians that are in favor of drug legalization, but are against drug use. ThomasJefferson introduced me to that concept.

Quite frankly I don't understand it, but it seems to make perfect sense to them. I think it's along the lines of, "I don't agree with what you say, but I'll defend...."

48 posted on 11/30/2002 11:19:31 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: Wolfie; jmc813
The whole "dangerous grow house" gambit is just the latest in a dying cause.
Exactly how I read it. Another "tired tactic" and now they've got
Growers are increasingly buying homes, and in some cases entire blocks are devoted to the lucrative business.
What are the real estate peole mad about? Sounds like they would welcome the sales.
And insurance rates "could" go up, not "will".
Trial balloon.

And a thought...
Police say there are at least 50,000 houses in Canada that are now used exclusively to grow marijuana...
Is this "guesstimation" or fact? If the police know the number of houses being used why are they still allowed to function? Shouldn't they be closing them down in the "war effort"?
It sounds as if they're saying "We know they're there, but we aren't going to do anything besides bitch about 'em".

49 posted on 12/01/2002 4:06:56 AM PST by philman_36
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To: robertpaulsen
Why would you put yourself at risk by stealing power when there is nothing to hide. If I were growing (which i'm not) I wouldn't have any reason to hide anything if it was legal, I definately wouldn't want to go to jail for stealing power if marajuana was legal. I just don't think that stealing power is the issue. The reason they steal power is not to save money but to keep from having astronomical power bills thereby giving away their growing operation.
50 posted on 12/02/2002 5:26:05 AM PST by HELLRAISER II
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