Pubdate: Sun, 20 Mar 2005
Source: Penticton Western (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Penticton Western
Author: Tracy Clark, News Staff Reporter
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


The Okanagan-Similkameen is below the provincial average for marijuana
grow operation busts, according to a recent study.

Although the number of grow operations reported to police more than
doubled - from 34 in 1997 to 87 in 2003 - the region remains
marginally below B.C.'s average of 1.09 for the number of busts per
1,000 people at 1.07, says a study at the University College of the
Fraser Valley.

"Very few are being reported," said Sgt. John Niznikowski, with the
drug task force at the Penticton RCMP.

He said the numbers would likely be higher if more reports came in.
The Penticton detachment does not have any full-time resources
allocated to stopping marijuana cultivation, he said.

The Okanagan-Similkameen's per capita rate is also significantly lower
than the Central Okanagan. That region saw a 550 per cent increase in
grow ops reported to police between 1997 and 2003 from 40 to 260,
which puts their cases at 1.62 per 1,000 people.

The number one city for marijuana cultivation in B.C. is Chilliwack,
followed by Prince George and Kelowna.

The Thompson-Okanagan fell to third for outdoor cultivation cases in
B.C. at 25 per cent, preceded only by The Kootenays at 39 per cent of
cases and Vancouver Island/Coast at 33 per cent of cases.
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MAP posted-by: Derek