By Alfa · May 7, 2005 ·
  1. Alfa

    White Rock RCMP are again advising residents to beware of scams, after a complaint about an ad seeking marijuana growers.

    Const. Raina Siou said last week she is investigating a classified ad which appeared in The Times' sister paper, The Peace Arch News. It read: 'PARTI Marijuana Party. Seeking electoral candidates in every district to operate Medicinal Cannabis Home Delivery. Will train growers for patients. Highest quality. Lowest Price.' It included a Cloverdale phone number.

    Siou said the complainant contacted the advertiser because he was interested in becoming a grower for a friend who uses medicinal marijuana.

    The man asked the caller to meet him at a Langley pub, said he worked for a government office, bought him a beer, and said he could set him up within three days with a licence to grow marijuana.

    All for $2,500.

    "The guy only gives his first name," Siou said.

    "(The advertiser) has called this kid back four times in 24 hours. You wouldn't be this desperate if you were legitimate. Don't fall prey to it."

    Health Canada's Marijuana Medical Access Regulations, implemented in 2001, allow access to marijuana by people suffering from grave and debilitating illness.

    The regulations encompass authorizations to possess marijuana for medical purposes, and licences to produce it.

    People can receive, through an application process, permission to get medical marijuana from government, to grow it for personal use, or to name someone to grow the drug for them.

    The Office of Cannabis Medical Access said, as of Jan. 7, 773 people in Canada are permitted medical marijuana. Another 552 can grow it for personal use, or for one other person.

    The only contract for mass production is held by Flin Flon, Man.-based Prairie Plant Systems, Inc.

    "Under the current legislation, no individual is licensed to supply marijuana other than those authorized to grow it for another person,"

    Health Canada's Catherine Saunders said last week.

    And only government can grant that authorization, she said.

    While the Marijuana Party of B.C. did not place the ad, party campaign manager Kirk Tousaw praised it for promoting the issue.

    "I'd applaud any effort to get people active in helping the sick or getting involved in the political system," he said.

    The party is hoping to field candidates in all 79 ridings in B.C.'s May election.

    He confirmed the party did run a recent classified ad seeking potential candidates.

    "It doesn't say anything about medicinal marijuana," Tousaw said. Nor does the text in an upcoming display ad that will run in 70 newspapers mention medical marijuana.

    Saunders told police this is the first such scam reported in B.C., although similar complaints have been reported in Ontario.

    In response to another complaint, Siou said RCMP are not soliciting for funds to keep children and youth off the street, help the underprivileged, or to support a fight to change legislation to keep those who commit offences against children in prison longer.

    Siou said a woman called later to report persistent calls looking for donations to the cause.

    It, too, is not legitimate.

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