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TMCNet:  Stakeholder consultations first step to grow-op free Alberta

[February 22, 2013]

Stakeholder consultations first step to grow-op free Alberta

Feb 22, 2013 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) -- The province will ask an expert panel for input on how to address the health and safety concerns and criminal activity associated with marijuana grow-ops in Alberta communities. At the same time, Albertans can also make their voice heard by completing the Grow-op Free Alberta survey .

"We are taking a stand against this illegal activity as we move toward creating a grow-op free Alberta," said Jonathan Denis, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. "Marijuana grow-ops pose a serious risk to the safety and health of Albertans, lead to increased organized criminal activity, and are becoming a chronic presence throughout the province." Community and stakeholder consultations will begin this month and are expected to run until May, 2013. They will be led by Rick Fraser, MLA for Calgary-South East, and supported by a panel of subject matter experts . Videoconferencing will be used to gather input from across the province.

Among the stakeholders being asked for input are police agencies; municipalities; fire officials; health, safety and building investigators; utility, mortgage and real estate companies, and community leagues. Discussions will focus on safety issues such as fire, electrical and structural hazards; remediation after a grow-op is dismantled, and health issues including chemical contamination and mold exposure.

Albertans are invited to provide their input through a brief online survey and are encouraged to email their stories about their experiences with grow-ops in their communities.

"We want Albertans' input, and these consultations will help us identify the issues associated with this illegal activity, and develop solutions to help protect and repair our communities," said MLA Fraser.

"The knowledge gained through this initiative will positively impact the issue by decreasing the number of marijuana grow operations and increasing the responsiveness of those involved in remediation of affected houses," said expert panel member Wayne Brown, Lead, Coordinated Safety Response Team (CSRT), City of Calgary.

Albertans will also be able to provide comments online in response to comments gathered during the stakeholder consultation.

To increase awareness of the risks associated with marijuana grow-ops in our communities, an interactive marijuana grow-op house has been created.

Media inquiries may be directed to: Michelle Davio Communications Justice and Solicitor General 780-644-3009 michelle.davio@gov.ab.ca @ABSolGen ((M2 Communications disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at http://www.presswire.net on the world wide web. Inquiries to info@m2.com.

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