Pubdate: Wed, 13 Apr 2005
Source: Waterloo Chronicle (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 Fairway Newspaper Group
Author: William Bradley


Re: Neighbourhood Watch tips on spotting home-grow operations (Chronicle,
March 30, 2005).

A good idea in general; large-scale commercial grow ops are a

However, some of your "facts" are erroneous in the extreme.

Consider the following... "It is estimated that in the Waterloo Region
there is a home-grow operation within a 10-minute walk from every urban

"In an 18-month period, the Waterloo regional police service drug unit
dismantled over 85 home-grow operations and seized marijuana worth
over $18 million. However, the trend continues."

The upper statistic would put the number of grow ops as 10 times the
amount of officers employed by the Waterloo Region completely.

A literally impossible feat to stop them all. Secondly, the estimation
counts the less than 40 plant operations which are obviously personal
users and nothing more.

In the second statistic, the gross over-estimation of police in
estimating that each plant (including seedlings and immature plants)
at $1,000 minimum value each is inherently dishonest and throws their
entire claims into doubt.

"This marijuana is sold on the street by criminal organizations."

The last claim here is one that is completely unprovable; last time I
checked police used empirical evidence not supposition in their
investigations. I guess this has changed of late.

"Windows are covered to prevent light from entering the home and to
conceal the activities;"

Actually, people who can't afford air conditioning do this quite
often. It's cheaper and more effective and is more environmentally

"Sometimes sounds of construction and ventilation fans can be

These can also be found in any house undergoing any sort of

"The growing of marijuana produces a strong skunk-like odour that can
often be detected outside of the home."

This one always makes me laugh. As if the "reader" or "writer" of such
nonsense knows anything about the hundreds of different strains of
Cannabis. They don't all smell like skunk, in fact few do. But hey,
why let facts muddy the water of the witch hunt, right?

"Fire and health dangers to surrounding homes due to the unsafe use of
the electricity and chemicals."

This one is just a plain old lie. There is no evidence that even the
majority of grow ops use "unsafe electricity." In fact, the evidence
shows the opposite.

Also, people keep mentioning "chemicals." For the untrained and those
that lack any knowledge, these are standard gardening "chemicals" -
those that every single one of you possess.

Better watch out, they're coming for your rose garden next

"A home-grow operation steals electricity worth $1,000 per

Less than 70 per cent of "busted" grow ops steal electricity. Ask the
Toronto lawyers association that ends up defending half of these
"criminals," or better yet call hydro and ask yourself.

"Emergency responders are exposed to hazardous conditions."

These are the same "hazardous conditions" you're exposed to at work
and walking down the street. The air we breathe is 10 times more
dangerous according to all science compared to a "mouldy grow op"
which is obviously the assumption in this article.

Other than the aforementioned, a good (article). Unfortunately if you
want the support of people who actually understand science and
empirical evidence as well as common sense, it's time you stuck to the

After all, we constantly tout "the dangers of grow ops," yet the
police ask for harsher penalties; well except for LEAP (law
enforcement against prohibition), but heck, those people don't know
what they're talking about, right?

They're just ex-drug cops, normal cops, lawyers, etc. Naw, they
wouldn't have a clue.

Perhaps we should be asking ourselves why Cannabis prohibition is 40
per cent of police funding while homicide, rape and theft squads are
undermanned and underfunded.

Oh wait, that would raise too many questions, wouldn't it? Like how
did prohibition come about. It wasn't through the guise of racism by a
one Emily Murphy, was it?

Oh wait, it was my mistake.

William Bradley

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