ONTARIO WANTS TO PULL PLUG ON POT
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
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
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.