FANTINO THINKS LEGAL POT STINKS
Province Targets Grow Ops
Toronto police Chief Julian Fantino likened decriminalizing marijuana
to legalizing murder yesterday as he rejected arguments that legal pot
would cut down on organized crime now growing it. "I guess we can
legalize murder too and then we won't have a murder case. We can't go
that way," Fantino said.
"I don't know what the medical properties of marijuana are or aren't,
or whether it's good or bad," he added. "The fact remains that
marijuana today is a very, very significant concern and it's illegal
and, as such, we have to deal with it."
He said legalizing pot would simply mean it would be grown in Canada
and shipped to the U.S. and other places where it's still illegal.
His remarks came after Ontario Minister of Community Safety Monte
Kwinter announced new legislation combatting the public safety hazards
of grow ops across the province. The legislation includes the doubling
of several Ontario Fire Code fines reaching up to $1 million for
activities such as rewiring electricity around a meter for the sake of
powering basement pot projects.
QUICK POWER CUTS
If passed, the new law would also enshrine into law the right of local
hydro companies to disconnect electricity without notice for emergency
or safety reasons and require inspections of all homes confirmed to
have contained a grow op.
Kwinter said homes containing intensive pot operations in their
basements are 40 times more likely to spark a fire. They also contain
toxic chemicals, breed mold and often harm the structure of the home.
OPP Detective Chief Superintendent Frank Ryder said the provincial
police have executed search warrants at 629 homes converted into grow
Much of that pot is then shipped across the border in exchange for
harder drugs, guns and cash, Ryder said.
Conservative critic Garfield Dunlop called for tougher trafficking
New Democrat MPP Peter Kormos said the federal government would be
well advised to regulate the sale of pot and collect taxes on the industry.