Heavy Users Of Electricity Will Be Reported To Police Under New B.C. Legislation

By bewilderment · Apr 20, 2006 · ·
  1. bewilderment

    Near the end of this month, municipalities will have BC Hydro records on demand, data which will be turned over to police to determine whether spikes in power use were caused by a marijuana grow operation.

    Marijuana grow ops require high power consumption, typically three to 10 times the amount used by a normal home.

    "This amendment will help local authorities target and shut down marijuana grow operations more quickly and more efficiently," Minister of Public Safety John Les said in the legislature Thursday, as he introduced Bill 25. "With these amendments, municipalities will now be able to obtain information from electricity companies about residences with unusual power consumption."

    The names and addresses of the account holders will now be given to local authorities to investigate whether their homes contain a grow operation, he said.

    One of the main impediments to the program, investigators say, has been the time-consuming process of acquiring BC Hydro information through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act ( FOI ). To obtain an FOI request, the city first had to have tips from neighbours. Now the investigation process will be reversed: power records first, then assessment.

    Launched last year, the Electrical Fire Safety Initiative ( EFSI ) involved fire, police, bylaw and building inspectors tracking high energy use and posting a notice that the home will be inspected in 48 hours.

    Len Garis, Surrey Fire Chief, acknowledges the new legislation will be controversial.

    "The new program may be viewed by some as an infringement of privacy, however it is believed that the public's safety is more compelling and outweighs any privacy rights," Garis said.

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  1. old hippie 56
    Sounds like time to think solar or other means of producing your own power. They are getting more efficent and lower cost, seen a deal on a home improvement show about generating enough electricity to sell back to the local provider.
  2. Cure20
    It boggles me why electric companies would give in to this bullshit, they are making money off the power use, why give it up. huh?
  3. Nagognog2
    It's been well known, in the USA, that satellites are in orbit that look for infra-red "signatures" of properties that appear to be showing high usage of electricity. This is enough to secure a warrant to search these properties for cultivation. So even if you generate your own power - you best bury the farm underground from Sputnik.

    Bongo has been tempted to open a large indoor farm - and grow a jungle of fire-nettles and poison sumac.
  4. bewilderment
    Really? I've frequently heard that the infra-red stuff was done by helicopters and that the police were required to have a warrant and not just be randomly scanning...although if the police were scanning one person's house and picked up on someone else growing nearby then that would be grounds for a search. I'm not stating this as fact, but just as something I recall reading a lot in various marijuana forums.
  5. bewilderment
    Yeah, I guess that's how it's supposed to be, but not necessarily how it is according to this:
    according to: http://www.notbored.org/infrared-cameras.html
  6. kemistudent
    I thought a few years back the supreme court ruled that using infra-red devices to identify growers was out of bounds?
  7. old hippie 56
    Wouldn't the residual heat from solar panels show a positive image on infra-red cameras? If not, isn't there a way to hide the heat signature of high temps grow lights?
    The cops might not be able to use the images for a search warrant, but label you as a person of interest for further scrunity.
  8. Nagognog2
    One assumes the government/police follow the letter of the law in fighting a "War On Drugs." Ha! Once they have you in chains in a courtroom while parading the evidence to the media - just how far do you think claiming they had no legal right to tear your house apart will get you? They would just make up something - like you sold them a bag. These satellites and technology were developed originally to monitor the Soviet Union for missle base activity. That war ended, so they adapted the tech for their new war. Drugs.

    Closer to the ground, with high-flying aircraft, they check for refractive indexes of marijuana plants growing outdoors. Plants give off different amounts of heat and light - which gives each plant a distinctive "color." Computer analysis can spot a row of pot growing in a field of soy. Then they can/will stake out the property - including using ground-based cameras and motion detectors to film anyone who approaches the area under surveillance.

    On a happier note: A farmer in Maine shot down a state police helicopter a few years ago. He argued that he had a right to as it was spooking his cows and they went dry for milk. Charges were dropped. Mooooooo!!
  9. Richard_smoker
    OK... so I don't know what one would do about this problem, but the issue of using solar power might be easier than you think. In fact, the solution might be so obvious that it could cause people to blush.

    When solar energy is used to make electricity, you lose what? 50% of the energy? 80%? a shitload?

    Then, when you convert the electricity into light, it loses what? 30% of the electrical energy? maybe a little less?? maybe more as heat...

    So, why not just use the solar energy DIRECTLY? like placing one or several BIG ASS magnifying glasses (5'X5') and then mirrors to reflect the light into the 'grow room'?

    I know this sounds surreal, even ridiculous, but i think it might be a whole lot easier than getting arrested for your energy bill. Also, as ridiculous as it sounds, I doubt that a few funky windows (that are always uncovered, but you can't really see anything inside) around the 'attic' with mirrors arranged in such a way that only people INSIDE the attic could see them... maybe this would work? light coming in not only from a big, translucent sky-light, but also, mostly from a lateral direction, 360 degrees around, also with a z-axis (from above), pure, real, natural sunlight--except concentrated sunlight so you get a bombardment of shitloads of photons? AND, nobody seems to notice or care when people run fans/air-conditioners out of their attics, right?

    Maybe this would require an igloo-shaped add-on to the top of your house. And maybe your neighbors will roll up their windows and lock the doors when you walk past their cars due to your lack of decency... but my dad managed to accomplish this for his entire life, and no one suspected he was growing drugs!* They just avoided his weird, non-taste-having ass like the plague, and quickly sold their homes before their property values could plumet from a tasteless, disorganized home-owner. (...there goes the neighborhood...)

    also, you don't have to worry about infrared heat detectors at night, because you don't have any lights at night? right? i can't remember how it works--can you grow good shit with regular 12/12 hour cycles????

    sorry for the possibly maniacal, looney post... but it sounded good to me when the voices just whispered it into my right ear...

    *BTW, he WASN'T growing drugs. just wanted to clarify that... voices in my ear--yes. dad growing drugs--no.
  10. kemistudent

    Cmon!! You gotta be shittin me! Thats fuckin awsome if true!! I am amazed at the amount of info Bongo is filled with. I would smoke his poo if it quenched my desire for knowledge.:p
  11. FrankenChrist
    Hahahaha, I can already see him standing there with a straw hat, waving an antique shotgun swearing "dagnabbit".

    In the Winter, police in the low lands also look for roofs without snow, to look for grow-ops.

    I heard from my granddad that they used the same tactic since early last century, to look for illegal distilleries.
    But everyone was doing it, it was the only way to make some quick money on the side, which they really needed. There were no dangerous cartels behind it.
  12. kemistudent
    And that my friend is why you are able to purchase EtOH at the local market today. They were unable to stop people from making it, it was too easy

    What needs to happen today, is everyone that smokes, needs to put the pipe down for a minute and learn how to grow. It too is simple and as history repeats itself.. if everyone is doing it, then just maybe, it will be decriminalized.
  13. Nagognog2
    "OK... so I don't know what one would do about this problem, but the issue of using solar power might be easier than you think. In fact, the solution might be so obvious that it could cause people to blush."

    Regards the problem with planes looking for the refractive index of marijuana plants, we did come up with one idea: Make some motorized robotic pot-plants and paint them with this same exact refractive-index paint. Then have them march across the countryside as a wave of angry pot-plants invading some small town in Nebraska. That would keep 'em busy for awhile.
  14. StigmataLectron
    QFTFT. It takes a long time and is pretty complicated to change a law - and in the meantime, said law is still in place. Marijuana is still illegal, even when decrim/legalisation is on the horizon. What to do in situations like this? Grow like crazy. I strongly believe that anybody who uses marijuana should at least play some part in the production of it. Besides, if everyone learned to grow, and prisons were overpacked with nonviolent potsmokers, and forests were littered with plants in opposition.. we'd definitely have a better case for legalisation.

    And besides, SWIM is tired of not revealing his name every time he talks about smoking pot. :b
  15. Richard_smoker
    Yeah, or just paint all the roofs of every house in your neighborhood--whether you grow shit or not...
  16. Alicia
    some of these problems could be avoided by using envirolites or other similer company bulbs (a type of fluorescent lighting bulb ) Thats powerful to have the tomatoes flowering big, also it can be put closer to it and as a result grow bigger also they take up virtually no electricity at all to run produce less heat comparing to hps grow bulbs.
  17. kemistudent
    I was thinkin L.E.D lights... a friend of a friend who lives in some area of the world were pot is legal said LED lights would be the way to go if you could afford them.

    I would never look into something so elite because I live in a area of the world where cultivation is illegal, but I would look into LED's for the hell of it if I was curious about the idea, which I am, but not enough to actually look into it..

    Ah fuckit, I found my bag of curiosity: Good idea ;)
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