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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another









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3/14/2005

Like a Dog with a Bone

The Conservatives have already called for anyone convicted of operating a marijuana grow operation to face a minimum of two years in jail. Conservative justice critic Vic Toews argues that minimum sentences send a signal to the courts about the public's concern over the problem of grow-ops.
globe and mail
Vic has not quite realized the scope of the problem or the relative paucity of workable solutions. Consider for a moment that growing pot in B.C. is a six billion dollar year business. Apparently it is 12 billion a year in Ontario. This is serious enough money that the people doing it on an industrial scale are going to be fairly sophisticated.

Guess what...they don't rent the houses in their own names. In fact, a compentent grow op owner tends not to visit the ops at all. He or she has lower level people actually tending the crop.

The only thing minimum sentences will do is increase the trend towards total, wireless, operation. Basically grow pot via the internet with all of the operations run by remote control.

Plus, for the poor dweebs who go in and harvest the crop, the prospect of minimum snetence will increase the likliehood of trying to shoot their way out of a bust.

And, realistically, while the impostion of minimum sentences might, fractionally, increase the costs of doing business for grow operators, what it will actually do is increase the incentive to conceal and proliferate their operations.

The best part of all of this is that the same bill that the Tories are proposing to amend (and if they do let's hope they remember to vote for their own amendment) will allow the cultivation of four plants per person for personal use.

Now let's not kid ourselves, my little family could plant either 8 or, if we include the dope smoking four and one year olds, 16 plants. With a bit of skill each of those plants will yield between $1000.00 and $2000.00 worth of bud. Call it $32,000.00. Grown inside or in a greenhouse, you should be able to get four crops a year...

The only illegal thing which you would do is sell the "surplus" (which at our house would be, er, all of it). In practice, it would be almost impossible to catch the vast majority of people who were growing their pot for "personal use" at the act of selling it. Which would render the entire enforcement end of the decrim bill more or less a joke.

Indeed, the Ma and Pa personal use operations could easily give the big ops a run for their money at far less legal risk to their principals.