British Columbia Cashes in on Marijuana Grow-op Houses

Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu announced that British Columbia's Civil Forfeiture Program resulted in over $5 million in seizures in 2010. (Photo by Peter Grainger)Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu announced that British Columbia’s Civil Forfeiture Program resulted in over $5 million in seizures in 2010. (Photo by Peter Grainger)A former Vancouver, B.C. marijuana grow-operation has become the most valuable property forfeited to the province, according to Solicitor General Rich Coleman.

Coleman said in a press conference Tuesday that 2010 was the most successful year for British Columbia’s Civil Forfeiture Program, a provincial program which targets the property of gangs and organized crime.

“More and more people who pursue unlawful activities are losing a lot for doing so, and this is one more way we’re making gang life less attractive and organized crime unwelcome in B.C.,” said Coleman.

Police seized 959 marijuana plants from the five-bedroom house on West 53rd Avenue in 2009. The house has since been resold to new owners, resulting in a $600,000 gain to the province.

Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu said that the four-year-old program eliminates public-safety risks associated with criminal activity while sending a message that crime doesn’t pay.

“Civil forfeiture actions like this help to ensure that criminals do not profit from lucrative and dangerous activities,” said Chu.

Chu said that grow-ops create fire and electrocution risks and threaten the lives of emergency responders and innocent people.

Last year, 18 properties, six vehicles and 56 cash seizures resulted in $5.4 million in forfeitures.

In his campaign, BC Liberal leadership candidate Kevin Falcon has said that 50 per cent of profits from the civil forfeiture program should be returned to municipalities to support local policing.

– Article from CTV.

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