HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Growbusters Get Vote Of Confidence
Pubdate: Fri, 02 Aug 2002
Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Canada Web)
Copyright: 2002 CBC


Vancouver - The Vancouver Police crackdown on marijuana grow operations has 
been given a three-year extension. City council has voted to spend $1.5 
million to keep Growbuster in business until 2005.

Since Growbusters began two years ago, police have shut down more than 
1,100 marijuana grow houses, seized an estimated $200 million worth of B.C. 
bud, and carted away more than $6 million in growing equipment.

Inspector Kash Heed who heads up the city's drug squad calls marijuana grow 
ops "a substantial threat to the community".

"Those are the ones where we have kidnappings taking place, hostage 
takings," he says. "We even have murders, we have drive-by shootings and we 
have fires."

However, Marijuana Party president Mark Emery says Growbusters just serves 
to send more people to jail for growing marijuana.

"This will send the price higher, which creates more of an incentive and 
lure for organized crime which will create more serious violence in our 
community," he says.

Emery says if the city is really concerned about safety it would inspect 
and license the grow ops. City councillors called that idea "ridiculous".
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