HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Marijuana Grow Equipment Recycled, Police Charge
Pubdate: Wed, 20 Oct 2004
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 The Toronto Star
Author: Curtis Rush, Staff Reporter
Bookmark: (Asset Forfeiture)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


York Regional Police Chief Armand La Barge is upset that dismantled
equipment from marijuana grow operations is finding its way back into
the hands of criminals.

The chief issued a press release today calling for the federal
government to change the laws governing the way seized property is

It seems that marijuana grow-lab equipment, previously seized by
police, has been sold at auction and then turned up at other grow
operations in York Region, La Barge said.

On Aug. 11, marijuana plants valued at $1.1 million were seized at an
industrial unit in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville. Lights,
generators, dehumidifiers, fans and other equipment used was seized.

During the dismantling of the equipment, police discovered that some
of it had been previously seized at marijuana grow operations by York
Regional Police in 1998 and 1999 and in 2002 by members of the Halton
Regional Police and London police forces.

It seems that the equipment had been auctioned off by a private
liquidation company on behalf of the federal Seized Property
Management Directorate, which is responsible for the management of
drug paraphernalia confiscated by police forces across the country, La
Barge said.

"I find it appalling that confiscated marijuana grow lab equipment is
being re-sold to the public and at bargain basement prices," the chief
said in the news release. He said he is also concerned about the
health risks associated with the re-sale of the equipment, given the
mould and chemicals found in grow operations.

La Barge is urging Public Works Minister Scott Brison to make changes
to the Seized Property Management Act to ensure that all equipment
seized from a marijuana grow operation is destroyed.

In 2003, York Regional Police dismantled 173 marijuana grow operations
and seized plants valued at $51 million. In 2004, police have
dismantled more than 100 grow operations.

"It is very disheartening to me and to our drug and vice officers that
this type of equipment is finding its way back into the hands of
criminals," La Barge said. 
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