Fire officials upset with medical pot laws
Published Thursday, February 26, 2009 8:19PM EST
Some fire officials are questioning the federal government's policy of not identifying the homes of those licensed to grow medical marijuana, saying that many grow-ops pose a fire hazard.
Deputy chief Jim Jessop of Niagara Falls Fire Services says Health Canada should give fire officials the addresses of legal grow-ops so they can be inspected. He says that many grow-ops are dangerous.
"Following the discovery of one of these operations the fire inspection revealed that there were numerous violations of the fire code that present life-safety hazards to the children and occupants of the house," he said.
Fires are 25 more likely to start in grow-op homes than regular houses, according to the Globe and Mail.
Jessop says that many grow-ops have all the traditional security of illegal ones such as barred windows, which can trap firefighters inside.
Originally, Health Canada wrote in an email to fire officials, "The privacy act prevents us from sharing information regarding (those) who produce marijuana for medical purposes."
But Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq wrote CTV Toronto Thursday to say that the department is now looking into the concerns.
There are 1,700 people licensed in Canada legally grow marijuana for medical purposes. Many may wish to keep their locations privates to prevent themselves from being robbed.
Currently, when an illegal grow-op is busted, the address is published to protect anyone who buys the home. Jessop says the same should apply for those who buys a home from legal growers.