Archive | Public Safety

The Nature and Extent of Marihuana Possession in British Columbia

The illegal status of marihuana has been the subject of debate for decades.1 Quantitative accounts of the police response to marihuana possession offences using data from Statistics Canada are frequently quoted in the media, by advocate groups, political parties, policy makers, police, and by academics to support their positions. However, there is very little discussion […]

Revisiting the Safety of Smart Meter Installations in British Columbia Analysis of Residential Structure Fires in BC between July 2010 and June 2013

In June of 2011, BC Hydro commenced implementation of its Smart Metering Program, which involved converting every residential property in BC from legacy metering to wireless technology smart meters. This Smart Metering Program involves replacing existing electrical meters that are now becoming obsolete, with a comprehensive wireless smart metering system. As of August 2013 an […]

Targeting Marihuana Growing Operations in British Columbia

Marihuana growing operations are an enduring crime and social problem for British Columbia. At the end of the 20th Century, the province had witnessed a surge in the number of marihuana growing operations coming to the attention of police forces. Growing in sophistication and increasingly moving indoors into residential neighbourhoods to avoid detection by law […]

Cleaning Up Former Drug Operations in our Residential Neighbourhoods

Communities across British Columbia are conducting safety inspections of suspected marihuana grow operations and clandestine drug labs to address the health and safety hazards associated with these sites, including fire, unsafe structural alterations, illegal and unsafe wiring, mould and chemical spills. Marihuana grow operations are 24 times more likely to catch fire than a typical […]

Regulatory Options to Prevent the Unsafe Use of High-powered Hydroponic Equipment

Both hobbyist gardeners and criminals who cultivate marihuana use the same types of high-powered hydroponic equipment in a residential setting, with no monitoring by authorities. The equipment’s power requirements (e.g., 1,000-watt bulbs and transformers) exceed a typical home’s electrical capacity, and therefore require professional installation. However, due to a lack of regulation, this installation is […]

What the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations Overlook

The Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR), which are currently administered by Health Canada, permit Canadians access to marihuana for medical use provided they have been deemed to require this medical treatment by a physician. The MMAR enable individuals to grow marihuana for themselves, empower a third- party to grow marihuana on their behalf, or purchase […]

Revisiting The Issues Around Commercially Viable Indoor Marihuana Growing Operations in British Columbia

Media reports of law enforcement efforts targeted at marihuana growing operations or ‘grow ops’ in British Columbia has come to be so common in recent years we can appreciate why many people might have started taking them for granted. Indeed, any new media report about grow ops almost seems like old news. Further, while these […]

Do Judges Take Prior Record into Consideration? An Analysis of the Sentencing of Repeat Offenders in British Columbia

A fundamental principle in nearly every common-law jurisdiction, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States, is that an offender’s prior record should play a central role in sentencing. In fact, the importance of previous criminal history should only be surpassed by the seriousness of offence committed (Roberts, 1997; Ulmer, […]