Pubdate: Fri, 04 Apr 2014
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2014 Steve Finlay
Author: Steve Finlay


Re: 36 fires in B. C. over the last eight years blamed on pot growing, April 2

The government claims that allowing people to grow their own medical
marijuana increases the risk of fire. But the numbers in your story
show the opposite. According to the Fire Chiefs' Association of B. C.,
"nearly a quarter" of 36 fires in the past eight years in B. C.
happened in licensed medical marijuana grows. That means eight fires.

As of the end of 2012, 11,601 people in B. C. were licensed to grow
medical marijuana. Eight fires out of these licences is 0.07 per cent.
In other words, the Fire Chiefs' Association has told us that 99.93
per cent of medical marijuana growers did not have any fires over an
eight-year period.

This is a good safety record, almost certainly far better than our
collective performance driving our cars. Should we cancel all drivers'
licences? Surely much more than 0.07 per cent of us have been in car
accidents causing injury, property damage or death.

If licensed medical marijuana grows did increase the risk of fire,
then an increase in the number of grows would be associated with an
increase in the number or severity of fires. This did not happen.
Between 2007 and 2011, the number of medical grows in B. C. increased
by over 500 per cent, from 255 to 1,643. In the same period, the
number of residential fire deaths per year in B. C. fell from 33 to

Banning personal grows would not make them go away; it would force
them underground. This would increase any fire danger, because an
illegal grower cannot ask for a health or fire inspection. If the
government were serious about reducing this nearly non-existent fire
danger, it would provide better inspection and regulation, rather than
a ban that is certain to fail.

Steve Finlay Secretary-treasurer, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
( Canada)  
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D