HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Smoking Out Pot Plantations
Pubdate: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Source: Abbotsford News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Hacker Press Ltd.
Author: Joe Millican, Abbotsford News
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


The City of Abbotsford is looking to roll up pot growers and smoke them out 
as it tightens its stance against marijuana by handing more responsibility 
to property owners.

The Controlled Substance Property Bylaw, 2004, passed Monday by council, 
supersedes the bylaw currently used by the city. And according to a staff 
report that was submitted to council, the bylaw would provide "increased 
security measures" while cracking down on marijuana growers.

"The goal for council is to work towards public safety and grow-ops are a 
safety hazard," Abbotsford Mayor Mary Reeves said Tuesday. Reeves also 
suggested that the latest bylaw, which is awaiting final approval from 
Victoria, may be tightened even further in the future. "It is open to 
adjustment as need be as new opportunities and concerns are raised," she 
said. "It is not a 'be all and end all' document. It is a fluid document 
and we will make sure it addresses concerns."

The bylaw changes deem it an offence to make physical changes to a building 
for the purposes of a grow-op, and require landlords to be more responsible 
for their properties.

Stricter penalties would be handed to owners of properties that have been 
used for grow-ops, and more fees could be recouped by the city to recover 
costs for dealing with a marijuana grow-op.

The 2004 bylaw would require landlords to inspect their properties at least 
once every three months and contact the city within 24 hours if a grow-op 
is found.

The bylaw also makes it an offence to disconnect an electrical or water 
meter to avoid detection, divert or install exhaust vents in a building, 
store "dangerous goods" in a home, obstruct an exit or allow a building to 
become mouldy as a result of a grow-op.

On top of that, city staff may enter a property and complete any required 
work at the expense of a property owner, post a notice on the building 
advising it is unsafe, shut off water within 24 hours of identifying a 
grow-op, and occupy a building until a re-occupancy permit is obtained.

The city would be able to enforce its bylaw under the provincial Offence 
Act, which carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 or imprisonment of a 
maximum of six months.

Alternatively, a municipal ticket can be issued, ordering an offender to 
pay a fine depending on the severity of the bylaw infraction.
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