Sunday, October 2, 2011

RCMP’s New National Marihuana Grow Strategy

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police stands united with the Government of Canada and its business and community partners to launch the RCMP’s national strategy to combat marihuana grow operations (MGOs) entitled the Marihuana Grow Initiative (MGI).

“Marihuana grow operations pose a serious threat to Canadians, the safety of our communities and the law enforcement officers fighting against these illegal operations,” said Shelly Glover, Member of Parliament for St. Boniface on behalf of the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety. “The Government of Canada is taking action to combat illicit marihuana cultivation in Canada, as well the organized crime elements behind it.”

Complimentary to the National Anti-Drug Strategy, the MGI was developed in collaboration with subject matter experts from across the country and represents the RCMP’s renewed commitment to fight marihuana production controlled by organized crime groups. Based on three key components: Awareness, Deterrence and Enforcement; the MGI outlines how the RCMP will work with partners and community members. It helps inform the Canadian public about the consequences, inherent hazards and destructive impacts these activities and criminal groups have on their communities.

“MGOs harm communities. Wherever they exist, there’s the potential for an increase in criminal activity and a greater chance of fire, explosions, and violence,” stated RCMP A/Commr. Mike Cabana. “This initiative is part of the RCMP’s renewed commitment and priority to combat marihuana production controlled by organized crime groups.”

The RCMP is also launching a new page on the public website that will act as a centralized database of residences where a MGO or clandestine lab was dismantled by the RCMP under the authority of a search warrant. This site will be consistently updated with new properties and it will also provide guidance and feature resources for landlords and buyers alike concerning the damagesMGOs and clandestine labs have on a property and its occupants.

“IBC shares the concerns of the RCMP and we have some clear advice for property owners on how to prevent grow ops from taking root in their homes and buildings" says Ralph Palumbo, VP, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “Property insurance is not designed to cover the destruction and loss resulting from an illegal marihuana grow operation. It is not an accident or a random act of violence, like a break-in or damage caused by a storm.

“Grow ops have become a major concern for homebuyers and REALTORS® across the country. REALTORS® are committed to protecting the interests of our clients and believe that buyers should be able to determine whether a house for sale has housed a grow op in the past, stated Gary Morse, CREA President. The structural integrity and inhabitability of such houses may be compromised and prospective buyers need to know that costly remediation may be needed to correct health and safety issues.”

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