The committee altered the controversial bill last Thursday, allowing a judge discretion when sentencing offenders convicted of growing fewer than 200 plants, something Justice Minister Rob Nicholson wanted to prevent.However, the VPD has witnessed a huge drop in grow op busts over the last eight years:
Other provisions of the bill that would allow automatic sentences for a variety of drug-related convictions remained intact.
Desmarais said the creation of smaller but more numerous growing operations will be an administrative and enforcement headache for police as it already requires many hours of work to produce the evidence sufficient for a search warrant.
“This will only further deplete our already overtaxed, resource-starved department. If we have to prove someone has a 1,000 grow operation broken down into five separate units it will be a huge undertaking,” he said.
The number of marijuana growing operations dismantled by the Vancouver Police Department has dropped significantly in the past decade. Statistics released to the Courier show police have so far busted 47 grow-ops this year as compared to 455 for all of 2001. The drop has been steady, with 224 dismantled in 2004 and 89 in 2007.This decrease occurred under Canada's existing laws.