Victoria is two grow-ops less this week, when Saanich Police seized over 900 marijuana plants in the Cordova Ridge area and arrested a couple that had no previous record with police. But the move is just another way to make confiscation look like “heroism,” according to advocates.
A 51-year-old Duncan man and 50-year-old Victoria woman were arrested Thursday night, Aug. 16, when BC Hydro personnel alerted police to two “sophisticated hydro diversions” at the location. Police found two large grow operations in full production, along with several kilograms of freshly cut and dried bud. Health Canada permits are always checked first in these cases, says Sgt. Scott Treble of Saanich Police, but the individuals did not have permits on file with the government.
“Stealing hydro is always wrong, but these are the kinds of acts we can expect to see so long as we are living in prohibition,” says Ted Smith, local pot activist and creator of the Cannabis Buyers’ Club. “This could have been the perfect ma-and-pa operation where the government was supporting people who are creating important medicine.”
The individuals, who are now facing proposed charges of production of marijuana, production of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and theft of electricity, were not part of the Buyers’ Club. All 900 plants will be incinerated according to federal policy, says Treble, minus a few samples kept for testing.
“It doesn’t surprise me the police treat this seizure as an act of heroism, but when you think of how many people that medicine could have helped, this is heartbreaking,” says Smith. “Why don’t we see the police come out with press releases every time they have finally jailed a man who was caught beating his wife? They act like this is helping communities, but who is really winning here? Not Victoria.” M