HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Liberals Consider Hydroponics Registry
Pubdate: Sat, 06 Nov 2004
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Jim Beatty
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


B.C.'s Solicitor-General Pushes For A Crackdown On Marijuana Growers

Solicitor-General Rich Coleman says the B.C. government is considering
regulating stores that sell hydroponic equipment as a way of cracking
down on the marijuana trade.

Coleman said his officials are studying a proposed law that would
force hydroponic equipment sellers to keep a registry of their buyers,
which could then be forwarded to police.

"It might focus people's minds a bit more," Coleman told The Vancouver
Sun following a debate at the B.C. Liberal convention at this
mountainside resort.

Coleman said the proposed registry would be similar to the regulations
facing Vancouver pawn shops, which now have electronic links to police
tracking property crimes.

B.C. Liberals voted overwhelmingly to get tough with marijuana growers
by regulating hydroponics, introducing new policing strategies to
crack down on illegal cultivation and increasing penalties for repeat

But not everyone supported getting tough on drugs.

Victoria chartered accountant Alastair Murdoch said the party is
moving in the wrong direction, especially when the federal government
is considering decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

"I don't know why we're going down this path when . . . the federal
government is moving the opposite direction. It has finally woken up
to the fact that you can't win this war -- you cannot win the war on
drugs," Murdoch told Liberal delegates. "Let's stop fighting a war
that we can't win."

Coleman scoffed at the notion, saying the federal government is

"I'm not happy with the federal legislation," he said.

One Liberal delegate asked if the government would consider banning
radio ads for hydroponic equipment sellers.

"I don't think we can control that ... I don't want to become the
thought police," said Coleman.

Although B.C. Liberals strongly supported tough new marijuana laws,
the party's views are not binding on government but may influence
government policy.

Robert Higgins, an owner of Advanced Nutrients, a hydroponics supplier
based in Abbotsford, said the proposed legislation would amount to
"over-regulation" and run counter to the federal government's push to
decriminalize marijuana. He added that customers worried about finding
their name on some registry can simply provide a false name.
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