Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jul 2015
Source: Packet & Times (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 Orillia Packet and Times
Author: Bob Broton
Page: A1


Season for Growing Marijuana Outdoors Is Here

Police are already taking special notice of this year's corn crop - 
and a particular weed that's growing among it.

The outdoor marijuana season is in full bloom.

"What ends up happening is they will take a section of the cornfield 
and they'll clear it out, plant their marijuana in there," said OPP 
Sgt. Peter Leon. "As it cultivates and grows, they keep an eye on it, 
obviously, and then they'll go in and harvest it."

But it's not easily spotted with the naked eye, he said.

"At this time of year, the growth of the corn plant around the 
marijuana - they contain each other. They hide each other fairly well."

But police said there are telltale signs something other than corn is 
growing in farmers' fields - for example, a vehicle parked by the 
side of the road near a corn crop at an odd time of day or an 
obviously beaten-down path through the cornfield.

Not all marijuana crops are planted in cornfields, however. 
Reforestation areas are popular, as are woodlots adjacent to water 
sources, Leon said.

But there is at least one common factor.

"(Growers are) going to be checking on their crop," he said. "They 
know exactly where they've planted it. They are certainly checking on 
their investment, so to speak."

Sometimes the pot plants are spotted by the public; other times, by 
the person working the land itself.

"Sometimes we'll get a call from a farmer, saying, 'I've spotted 
something in my field and it's not what I planted,'" Leon said. "We 
can go in there and pull those plants before

they do get harvested.

"We'll have it destroyed properly." Illegal, outdoor grow operations 
are nothing new, but they go in cycles, depending on a number of 
factors, weather nearly always being the most important one, police said.

"Looking at the corn - and I think that's one way to look at it - the 
cornfields have really started to grow quite a bit in the last couple 
of weeks, or the past week in particular, with the warm weather," 
Leon said. "Obviously, the amount of rain we had in June probably 
made the growing process very limited, but with the moisture in the 
ground, with the heat, I've certainly seen a certain increase in the 
height of the corn.

"If the corn is an indication ... I think the same would certainly 
hold true for the marijuana."

He noted the marijuana isn't always from seed; some is transplanted 
at the same time the corn crop goes in.

And conditions change with the seasons.

"Usually, around early September, in and around harvest time, the 
marijuana is a different colour than the corn itself," Leon said. 
"So, anybody who's doing an aerial fly-over - many farmers will 
utilize the aircraft to fly over their fields - they will see a 
difference and sometimes we get information that way. Sometimes it 
does go undetected."

Police ask anyone with information about marijuana production to content OPP.



Source: Canadian Bar Association


Possession of marijuana is a criminal offence under Canada's 
Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. You don't have to own the 
marijuana - you just have to have or possess it. There are medical exceptions.

For a first conviction, if you had less than 30 grams of marijuana, 
the maximum penalties are a fine of $1,000 or six months in jail or 
both. But the penalty for a first offence is usually much less.

You may also get a criminal record. That can prevent you from 
travelling to other countries, getting certain jobs, being bonded 
(which some jobs require) and applying for citizenship.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom