Pubdate: Mon, 14 Jul 2008
Source: Beacon Herald, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 Beacon Herald
Author: Laura Cudworth
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


With two big marijuana seizures so far this summer, there could be as 
many as 18 more to come.

Every summer, corn fields are a target for pot growers who clear away 
a section of the farmer's crop and plant their own crops. The 
marijuana is usually well hidden in the field, and the illegal crop 
gets all the benefits of the farmers' fertilizers.

Perth County OPP Const. Glen Childerley said on average there are 
upwards of 20 each summer.

"As the crops progress, farmers are out checking and come across them."

Just last week, 262 marijuana seedlings were found by a farmer in a 
field in Blanshard Ward. The plants would be worth an estimated 
$1,000 each once fully grown.

In June, 102 small marijuana plants were discovered in a field in 
Hibbert Ward off Highway 23 near the boundary with Huron County. The 
plants ranged in size from six to 12 inches.

In both cases, police seized and destroyed the plants.

As the summer goes on, police helicopters will go up looking for 
grow-ops from the air. Area flying clubs are also on the lookout and 
report any grow-ops they find to police.

Though the public and police may discover the plants, the people who 
grow them can be harder to find. Marijuana seizures don't often yield 
an arrest.

"Occasionally, not all the time, but we're happy to get it off the 
streets," Const. Childerley said.

Typically the plants are harvested as early as August and as late as October.

Besides farm fields, marijuana is often planted in swamp areas, 
woods, along rivers and on rural rental properties with large plots of land.

Some common signs of an outdoor grow-op:

. vehicles parked on the side of rural roads or trails

. people walking through remote areas for no apparent reason

. bags of fertilizer, planting trays or chemicals found in remote areas

. trampled trails in wooded or swamp areas

. "no-trespassing" signs spring up out of nowhere in remote areas.

Anyone who comes across a possible outdoor grow-op should avoid 
touching the plants because of possible chemicals on the plants. If 
confronted by the grower, leave the area.

In some cases outdoor marijuana grows are protected by booby traps, 
so if you should come across one police suggest you leave the area 
the way you came in.

If possible, record any licence plate numbers and call police.
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