1. Alfa

    Bill Would Cut Off Grow House Hydro

    TORONTO -- The Ontario government opened another front in its war on
    marijuana grow houses Tuesday with legislation designed to allow
    electricity distributors to cut power to homes they suspect are
    growing pot.

    If passed, the legislation introduced by Public Safety Minister Monte
    Kwinter would allow distributors to cut power with a court order -- or
    without one if they have "reasonable cause" to suspect criminal activity.

    "The energy distributor will make all of those determinations," said
    Kwinter, adding that the companies "have the obligation and the
    responsibility" to make that call.

    "If they have reasonable cause, they can cut off that electricity
    without notice."

    Calling grow houses "a blight on our neighbourhoods," Kwinter's bill
    would also double the maximum fines under the Fire Protection and
    Prevention Act for tampering with electrical wiring, a common grow-op
    tactic designed to disguise the telltale consumption of large
    quantities of power.

    Earlier Tuesday, Kwinter visited a Toronto fire academy, where he
    outlined a litany of hazards posed by grow ops.

    Fires are 40 times more likely in a grow op than a regular home, and
    they're often infested with mould, structurally unsafe and dangerous
    due to electrical rewiring and overloading, Kwinter said.

    Under the new law, any home that's been used to grow marijuana would
    have to be inspected and repaired by the owner before it could be used
    again as a dwelling.

    The legislation would also protect homebuyers from unwittingly taking
    over a former grow-op house that has been structurally damaged.


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