[h2]Pot grower accused of abusing licence[/h2]
Airdrie RCMP have laid drug charges against a man alleged to have abused his licence to legally grow marijuana.
He is also facing charges for possession of child pornography found in his house.
Police say they were called to a home in Airdrie Meadows late last week on another matter when they counted 52 marijuana plants throughout the property.
They returned later with the Southern Alberta Marijuana Investigative Team and found 545 grams of marijuana, a digital scale and drug paraphernalia.
Roy Rodney Knapp, 47, has a special licence from Health Canada called a Designated Person Production Licence.
However, that only permits the growth of a maximum 35 plants, and it had just expired.
Airdrie RCMP Const. Francine Hennelly said the fact the licence expired the day before police showed up is just a coincidence.
As of July 2008, there were 2,017 licences granted across the country to grow marijuana for a medicinal purpose, according to Health Canada.
In Alberta, 215 licences have been issued to possess marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Abusing a licence by growing marijuana for profit is not a common occurrence, say police.
"I have never seen this kind of situation before," said Const. Hennelly.
"We rarely come across people who have those licences," she said.
The investigators that bust illegal grow ops throughout the region, the Southern Alberta Marijuana Investigative Team, said until the case in Airdrie it has never found a grow operation where the homeowner had a valid licence to grow pot.
Hennelly said it falls to Health Canada to monitor people with licences to legally grow marijuana.
While at the house looking for drugs, police also found child pornography on Knapp's computer.
Knapp faces charges of production of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, resisting arrest and possession of child pornography.
[h4]Stephane Massinon, Calgary Herald[/h4]
Published: Tuesday, January 20, 2009
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