Pubdate: Fri, 30 Jun 2006
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Matthew Claxton
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Canada)


Landlords might be the new front-line soldiers against pot growers
under a proposed bylaw.

Four yearly inspections by a landlord should be enough to disrupt the
careers of would-be marijuana growers in Langley.

That's what Township councillors are hoping, after they sent a new
anti-pot bylaw to public hearing at Monday's council meeting.

The new bylaw will require landlords to inspect their properties at
least once every three months to check for methamphetamine labs and
grow operations.

Because it takes about four months to grow a crop of marijuana from
seedling to harvest, the inspections should catch growers in the act,
or drive them away.

If a landlord does the regular inspections and discovers a grow op, he
or she is off the hook for any police costs.

The bylaw also requires property owners to tell any potential future
buyers that the property once held a grow-op or drug lab.

Councillor Steve Ferguson called it a "the good, the bad and the ugly"

It should separate good landlords - those who already check their
properties for grow-ops - from the bad absentee landlords who allow
the practice to go on, Ferguson said.

It also addresses the ugly effects a former drug house can have on
later residents. Dangerous chemicals are used in creating meth, and
pesticides and mold are commonly left in the wake of an indoor
marijuana farm.

The bylaw is almost identical to ones already passed in several nearby

The question of the three-month inspections bothered Coun. Mel

"How do we know if they're doing this?" Kositsky asked. He wanted to
know if the Township would require every landlord to register every
time they inspected a property.

Administrator Mark Bakken said the Township hopes landlords keep their
own records.

Coun. Kim Richter raised a few questions about the bylaw, including
whether tenants could challenge it as too intrusive.

However, under the province's Residential Tenancy Act, landlords have
the right to inspect their properties, as long as they provide written
notice ahead of time. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake