HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Pot Bylaws Strengthened
Pubdate: Tue, 16 Nov 2004
Source: Abbotsford Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 The Abbotsford Times
Author: Christina Toth, Times
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Abbotsford city leaders want to make it less profitable to grow marijuana 
in this town.

Those caught with marijuana growing in their houses in Abbotsford will have 
their water shut off within 24 hours and will have to vacate their 
premises, as the city council agreed to add more muscle to the Controlled 
Substance Bylaw.

Building alteration, tampering with water or electrical meters, moving air 
vents inside, failing to clean air ducts, occupying the premises without 
inspection and permitting the growth of mould or fungus are among the 
bylaws that growers could be breaking.

Growers also face an increasing list of costs, fees and fines that could 
put a dent into profits.

Marijuana-growing related offences were also added last week to the 
Municipal Ticket Bylaw, allowing the city to fine property owners for a 
long list of offences.

Toireasa Strong, director of administration and corporate planning, said 
the changes came out of the city's anti-marijuana grow-op task force and 
its review of the city's bylaws to find ways to make growing pot more 
difficult in Abbotsford. The changes definitely give the city greater 
enforcement powers, she said.

The proposed changes, which passed through three readings, were up for 
adoption last night and were expected to be adopted by the city council.

Growers, once their place has been identified as a grow-op, must vacate the 
premises and can expect their water service to be shut off within 24 hours.

And it will cost growers more to pay for inspection, dismantling and other 
costs billed by the police, fire department, bylaw department and 
electrical inspectors, said bylaw manager Gordon Ferguson. The combination 
of fees and fines could cost pot growers thousands of dollars, capped at 

"The purpose is to make owners more responsible for their properties," said 

Unpaid bills are added to the property owner's tax bill. In some cases the 
city may decide to take the bill to court.

A full list of prohibited activities and fines related to marijuana 
grow-ops can be found on the city's web site at

Abbotsford marijuana grow-op task force is also looking for more input from 
residents at a public forum Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. at city hall.
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