Pubdate: Sat, 04 Jun 2016
Source: Standard, The (St. Catharines, CN ON)
Page: A1
Copyright: 2016 St. Catharines Standard
Author: Bill Sawchuk


Top-secret Location Used To House Marijuana, Drugs Recovered From

You could call it a pot secret location.

The Niagara Regional Police drug unit was extremely busy in April,
seizing marijuana worth $935,000 - and they have to keep all that pot

Eventually, it all ends up at the NRP's "secure drug repository" -
whether it is a baggie confiscated from a teenager or a bale of
marijuana hauled out of a grow-op.

"We have a drug control officer who is responsible for the security
and anything related to it," Sgt. Rich Gadreau said. "The
investigating officer does the paperwork and puts the evidence into a
locked receptacle in each division.

"The drug control officer then picks it up and takes it to the secure,
centralized location, where the drugs are stored until the case is
processed through court. Then it is sent to disposal."

The police bury marijuana plants after the court process is over, he

The NRP is granted permission from Health Canada to do

They incinerate all other drugs. Again, Health Canada grants
permission to the NRP to proceed.

"There is also the process of sending samples to Health Canada for
analysis to confirm exactly what it is," Gadreau said. "It's not like
in the movies where the cop sticks his finger in the bag and says,
'Yep, it's cocaine - and it's pure.'

"It doesn't happen that way. The sample is sent away for

A pair of busts in April filled up the NRP's storage

On April 14, police discovered a marijuana-growing operation in the
basement of a Grimsby home consisting of more than 500 plants. The
plants and dried product had a potential street value of about $537,000.

On April 10, police discovered a $400,000 marijuana grow-op at a
Niagara Falls home in what they described as an elaborate
marijuana-growing operation. More than 380 pot plants in various
stages of growth and 1,400 grams of dried marijuana were seized.

See In another bust, the NRP guns, gangs and grows unit raid on a
Thorold home that seized $10,700 in marijuana on April 22.

The federal government has been talking about legalizing marijuana in
Canada, but as pot laws currently stand it is only legal to purchase
and consume marijuana with a prescription.

It remains illegal and a criminal offense to do so without the proper

Niagara Regional Police Chief Jeff McGuire has said his officers can
use their discretion when dealing with simple possession charges - but
police investigations into trafficking continue unabated.

Niagara regional government also recently weighed in on the issue of

It passed a motion that provides recommendations to Ottawa should the
Canadian government move forward.

The motion called for strict regulations to reduce health and societal
harms associated with marijuana use.

Those include regulating access by limiting where cannabis can be
purchased and controlling the price; setting a minimum age for
purchase; investing federal dollars in education and prevention;
addressing and preventing marijuana-impaired driving; and prohibiting
marketing, advertising, and sponsorship - especially to children. 
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