HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Cops Turn Up Heat On Pot
Pubdate: Tue, 04 Apr 2000
Source: North Shore News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2000 by the North Shore News
Author: Katharine Hamer, COPS TURN UP HEAT ON POT

IF you think the leafy gardens of West Vancouver are safe from the
evils of drugs, think again.

Since the start of the year, West Vancouver Police have uncovered a
record 15 marijuana grow operations and hundreds of plants worth
hundreds of thousands of dollars.

They've also seized hydroponic equipment, hooked up in some cases to
highly unstable electrical sources.

Homeowners renting their basements or suites out to dope-growing
tenants could see their house going up in smoke at any time.

West Vancouver Police Sgt. Jim Almas believes the increase in police
finding grow operations can be attributed in part to neighbourhood

Police are trying to increase that awareness among landlords, property
managers, real estate agents and home inspectors.

Following the success of a similar event staged by Port Moody police
last month, West Vancouver Police are hosting an evening information
workshop on the issue April 11.

Hosted by Almas, the evening will also feature speakers from the
insurance industry and BC Hydro, plus the head of WVPD's detective
division, Staff Sgt. Doug Bruce.

Workshop topics will include:

screening potential tenants;

spotting marijuana grow labs and methamphetamine grow

rights and limitations governing landlord inspections of

liabilities associated with the damage of property from grow

A video demonstrating some of the damage caused in homes by grow
operations will also be screened.

"It's like condo rot," said the workshop's organizer, WVPD Cpl. Janis
Jean, "because of the moisture. And often you just can't get the smell

Jean says that in many ways West Vancouver is perfectly suited to
potential marijuana growers, because of the privacy and seclusion
afforded by large homes surrounded by trees.

She said checking references meticulously and asking neighbours to
report any suspicious activity are just some of the ways to curtail
grow operations.

The free workshop is scheduled for 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday April 11, in
the lecture theatre at Collingwood school, 70 Morven Drive in West

Seating is limited to 150. Participants are asked to pre-register by
contacting the West Vancouver Police at 925-7300. 
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