Pubdate: Sat, 26 Jul 2014
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2014 The Calgary Sun
Author: Bill Kaufmann
Page: A2


Licensed medical marijuana growers in Calgary busted over alleged

Police have arrested a pair of Calgarians for allegedly trafficking
marijuana while licensed to grow medicinal pot.

And city police officer Staff Sgt. Keith Hurley said the case
highlights the difficulty of determining who's legally growing the
drug and who's abusing that privilege.

"There's a lot of grey in this area...the lines are definitely blurred
and it's difficult to police," said Hurley, adding Health Canada,
which issues growing permits doesn't supply law enforcement with
information on the medicinal gardens.

But Hurley said a traffic stop in May led police to seizing packaged
marijuana in a vehicle on July 22, leaving little doubt in their minds
the suspects were growing pot for illicit purposes.

"He had the profile of someone trafficking marijuana, that it was not
for personal use," he said.

On the same day, a raid of a Silverado home that had been under police
observation led to officers finding 107 cannabis plants, 139 grams of
packaged pot, a small quantity of magic mushrooms, a taser, a stolen
and loaded handgun, $1,100 in cash and a money counter.

The home`s occupants did possess a Health Canada licence to grow up to
400 plants for medicinal purposes, said Hurley, who`s attached to the
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT).

"The number of plants seized was well within that legal plant count
but this is more about the other activities," he said.

"It paints a bad light of those legitimately in the

Alan Stuart Macdonald, 41 and Courtney Dionne McConnell, 30, both face
20 drug and weapons-related charges including trafficking.

Hurley said it's a certainty other licensed pot growers in Calgary are
abusing their permits and cultivating in unsafe ways but its hard to
get a handle on it.

"Nobody knows what's happening in these houses," he

There could be hundreds or thousands of licensed marijuana growers in
Calgary, added Hurley.
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