New Grow-op Law Will Violate Rights


i wanna be cool too!
Oct 22, 2005
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09 Aug 2006
by Russell Barth,
Re: Clampdown ahead for area grow-ops, Aug. 4.

The medical marijuana licence regulations from Health Canada state that medical marijuana growers should not let their growing sites be known to other people. This is common sense. But due to the new Ontario grow-op legislation, many people across the province will be phoning their hydro suppliers to ensure that their power is not suddenly turned off. People on ventilators or who own a lot of computers may also be "suspected" of growing. Freezers full of food may spoil and people may actually die because of a wrongly identified "grow-op."
If a medical marijuana licence holder tells the hydro supplier, "Hey, I know I use a lot of power, but I have a licence from Health Canada to grow pot," then he or she violates the licence's conditions.
Equally troubling, by telling a hydro worker on the phone that you are growing marijuana, a grower exposes himself or herself to home invasion. Why? Because hydro workers are not required, as police are, to keep their mouths shut about where medical grow-ops are located and how big they are. Talk around the bar or water cooler gets loose, and information like that spreads fast. By telling one hydro worker on the phone, a grower might effectively be telling the whole world about his or her business.
This violates medical marijuana users' right to privacy, beyond the issue of public safety, and puts growers in a legal rock-and-hard-place scenario, forced to choose between the law and health. Surely that could be a violation of the Charter of Rights. I doubt that this legislation will hold up in court, but everyone will have to wait until something terrible happens before we find out.
Russell Barth,
federal medical marijuana licence holder

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