HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Wet Weather Creates Bumper Marijuana Crop
Pubdate: Thu, 16 Sep 2004
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Paula McCooey, The Ottawa Citizen
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Police Double Amount Seized This Year

A marijuana blitz conducted by the Quebec and Ontario provincial police 
forces suggests this summer's damp weather has been a godsend for growers 
cultivating large crops, police say.

Each year, both police forces, with help from the RCMP, spread out across 
their provinces to eradicate outdoor grow operations.

The plants thrived in this year's rainy conditions. But what was even 
better for the growers was the fact the marijuana fields required less 
maintenance, reducing the need for growers' presence at the sites, and 
cutting their chances of being caught, say the police.

OPP Det.-Const. David Glass said, "Definitely the wet weather has helped 
the plants flourish."

He said officers across Ontario started zeroing in on hundreds of suspected 
grow operations last Tuesday, and have already seized twice as much 
marijuana in Eastern Ontario as they did in all of last year. The annual 
project will run for a couple of weeks.

As of yesterday, 24,000 plants were seized in the region.

Police estimate an average street value per plant of $1,000. "Some plants 
are small and may be worth $100, but the majority of plants we are seizing 
now are worth about $2,000 to $3,000 each, in terms of the quantity of the 
marijuana bud on them," said Det. Const. Glass.

Across Ontario, about 100,000 plants were seized last year during the 
eradication process, and it's estimated that figure will be twice as high 
this year by today.

Last year, 297,000 plants were seized in Quebec and so far this year the 
number is 354,000 plants.

Police must be wary of booby traps to thwart theft and keep authorities a bay.

An officer investigating an outside marijuana plot suffered a spike through 
his toe in the Kingston area during this week's seizures; and last season 
officers stumbled upon a father-son team caught guarding their crop with a 
revolver and cross-bow.

Det. Const. Glass said last year police discovered a wire attached to a 
shotgun, "so there would be a shotgun blast at knee level if you 
encountered it."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D