BC: Study Confirms That Coquitlam Is Going To Pot

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Mar 27, 2005
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BC: Study Confirms That Coquitlam Is Going To Pot

Coquitlam has the third-highest volume of marijuana cultivation cases in British Columbia, according to a new study out of the University College of the Fraser Valley.

"The one thing which was not surprising to us is that - and this is especially true in Coquitlam - the problem has continued to worsen to such an extent that there's more grows than ever before," said Darryl Plecas, a criminology professor at UCFV and the lead author of the study.

"The production is higher than it's ever been. These individual operations are more sophisticated and larger than they've ever been before."

The study of the province's pot trade is based on a review of all reported cases of marijuana growing in B.C. from 1997 to 2003. Researchers then tracked the results of each case through the justice system.

The report was commissioned by the RCMP.

"The purpose in getting the report was to take an objective look at the situation and the size of the problem and all the different issues insofar as the response from the system," said Insp. Paul Nadeau, head of the provincial Marijuana Enforcement Team. "We wanted to refresh the results ( of a 2002 study ) to see if there are any changes out there on the landscape."

One finding is that of the 149 jurisdictions in B.C. studied, 10 accounted for more than 50 per cent of all police cases in the province for 2003.

Each of these jurisdictions has had at least a 150-per-cent increase in marijuana cultivation incidents since 1997. The average number of cases of marijuana cultivation in 2003 in each of the top 10 jurisdictions was 245.

The largest increases over the seven-year period were in Prince George, Kelowna and Coquitlam, each with increases of more than 500 per cent.

Coquitlam had 297 cases of marijuana cultivation in 2003 and accounted for 6.6 per cent of all files opened in B.C. that year - that's a 624-per-cent increase in cases over the seven-year period studied.

Changes to the top 10 list include Surrey, which surpassed Vancouver as the most prolific jurisdiction in the province, and new entries ( since 2000 ) Kelowna, Prince George and Ridge Meadows.

There's also an obvious shift from setting up grow ops in low-income area to moving to the suburbs, a trend Nadeau said is supported by an increase in the size of grow ops.

In 2003, the average number of plants per indoor grow operation was 236, an increase of nearly 60 per cent from the average number in 1997, and the average quantity of harvested marijuana seized has tripled since 1997 in both indoor and outdoor operations.

"I think that's an indication they're looking for bigger places so they can set up bigger, more sophisticated grow ops," Nadeau said.

Coquitlam now has 1.6 per grow ops per 1,000 population - a whopping 55-per-cent higher than the provincial average.

However, there is some hope.

Delta, Nanaimo, and Abbotsford were in the top 10 jurisdictions in 2000 and have dropped off the list for 2003. Delta, Nanaimo and Abbotsford have also put in place active "green teams" to increase enforcement against marijuana grow ops.

Coquitlam's own green team, the Marijuana Enforcement Team ( MET ) was established in September 2004 to deal with the city's grow-op problem

"One thing people in Coquitlam should feel good about is that the enforcement team should make a difference," Plecas said. "Growers should move away because that's when we start to see a change."

Using Coquitlam as an example, Nadeau also pointed to green teams as a positive development that will make even more of a difference in coming years.

"It'll be very interesting to see in the future if those numbers don't turn right around," Nadeau said. "They've done some excellent work, the green team in Coquitlam."

That said, Plecas added that municipalities need to make sure enough resources are committed to policing and cited what he called Coquitlam's "embarrassingly low" police officer-to-resident ratio.

"City council needs to take a more responsible view of what's needed to truly provide for public safety," he said.

Plecas said another way involves working on a more effective response from the criminal justice system.

"Police are less able to get to grows, the prosecutors are less likely to charge on grows and the worst problem of all is that judges are sentencing people to terms of imprisonment to a lesser degree than ever before and to no greater amount of time."

In total, 57 per cent of all suspects had at least one prior conviction for a drug offence and 41 per cent had a prior conviction involving some form of violence.

The average length of a suspect's criminal history was 13 years and the average number of prior convictions was seven.

However, the number of cases where charges were laid dropped to 76 per cent in 2003 from more than 90 per cent in 1997 through 2001, and no one was sentenced to five years or more in prison.

Nadeau said police have been talking about lax sentencing for years.

"We're going to bring that forward to the attention of the other parts of the justice system that are involved with us in trying to tackle this problem because if the sentencing is so low that the criminals don't see it as a deterrent, that's a problem," Nadeau said. "We need to get together, look at the report and see what works, what doesn't and re-assess what strategies we should support."

The $250,000 study was paid for by the RCMP, but Nadeau says there were no attempts to control the results, even when they were not flattering to police.

Nadeau said, "Like my mom used to say, 'Sometimes you gotta take it like a man.' Accept the fact that some of the things you've done aren't working, fix that and move on."

2005Lower Mainland Publishing Group, Inc.
Contact: editorial thenownews.com
Website: hXXp://www.thenownews.com/
im glad. colorado and washington have it right. oregon is next.
smoking anything cant be too healthy. Alcohol is awfull. vicodin is only if needed. xanax i like in small dose as its potent but reverses the morning coffee come bedtime. Finally i found cannabutter, am now a non-smoker, which works well. no cravings to smoke at all. vaping also caused my lungs problems, but cleaner than smoking, the heated 'vapor' will eventually cause issues. did me.
go django
According to what I've been reading there are a few provincial mla's that are open to decriminalization what will Coquitlam and so called "Green Team" gonna do if that happens??

The federal government is also trying to make it harder to get medical marijuana as they are "phasing" out being able to grow your own to be replaced by a commercialized form where the price will go from roughly $1/G to $9/G. Making them more expensive at the same time.

For the first time in my 28 years I'm almost ashamed to be Canadian. I am grateful for the amazing people I know though ;)
almost, thor?
Harpers made me embarrassed to be canadian for a few years now ;) (even more-so for the fact people keep him in)
don't fear the price going up so much.. fear the quality dropping tenfold.

bloody joke.
where to start?
i'd wager Coquitlam doesn't have more growers than anywhere else in BC.. they just had more get caught.
and Nanaimo hasn't lost any more due to the green team.
the green team is the biggest effing joke in BC, such a waste of money (but then again all cannabis policing is IMO)

..why the hell are we upping enforcement in a province that has over 75% wanting legality anyway?.. one day i hope we'll finally break the facade that governments are for the people, and not just corrupt entities acting like royalty. (well the majority know this, we just do nothing)

more resources to policing? take some from other municipalities instead of adding to the province's payroll..
my city just hired 10 new cops recently.. our crime rate has been dropping for the last few years.
know where you find these new employee's? working as traffic cops, busting all the regular joes in the morning on their way to work.
..yeah we needed them :rolleyes:
*i fear where we'll find them this grow season :rolleyes:

oh canada :(
whats the green team???
i also dought that Coquitlam has more, just more to get caught!
harpo is an ***, & im sick of our goverment. he still holds 51% of majority.
kaotik said:
..why the hell are we upping enforcement in a province that has over 75% wanting legality anyway?..

He is introducing crime bills so he can fill the super prisons he wants to build or is already building........shhh we have said too much, hes prob watching!!:D:eek::ciao: :bolt:
Ruffy said:
whats the green team???
RCMP marijuana eradication unit
their sole target is marijuana grows.. so yeah; a huge public safety service they provide ;) :p :rolleyes:

they're not new, betcha every province has one.

dman, yeah.. i won't get started on that or his crime bill here ;)
yes, we people do nothing but let the corrupt get away with as much as possible. But have faith in one person, one vote. and lets get rid of those fillibuster happy corrupt a-holes. But watchout for guns. and bribes. they must have figured out a way to sleep at night. their consciences must be numb. So is the moral part of their brains. lets wakem up. keep 9 cars and give one to feed the world. even save the world. EGOs are like gravity.
they suck. be like water as bruce lee advised. adapt. There is not enough power to stop the growers. Thats a fact so dont worry. nature wins out.
why we cant just remove him fiscally & put him in the first new cell & bring on a pot smoker!
we really have to wait another 1.5 yrs? we need goverment rule changes
Rickyjack,, yur funny as hell Bro....Be like water....:rofl: If I could I would put myself in a Bong wit some ice.:hubba:
i wanted something even more potent, so im trying everclear tincture method.
yes i decarbed first. baking weed flour at 325 for 8 min. Then it goes into some alcohol which i put in the middle of a crockpot on hi so it just boils a little. the alcohol and decarbed 'flour' are in a pint glass jar, lid off, surrounded by water. lid is on the crockpot of course. when about a quarter of the alcohol has 'boiled' off, its done. careful, things are hot. im trying this tonight. we'll see. i find myself removing the crockpot lid to mix the jars contents, im hoping this will outperform the butter way. Im fat enough. plus the whole house smells with cannabutter simmering for hours. I went from smoking, vaping, butter, now tincture. my lungs/stamina are thanking me. havent needed to smoke for almost a month now.
Im just guessing,,but Id say ya dont like Smoken.:D Just a wild guess.:ignore:

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