beware: It’s harvest time for pot farmers….



ONTARIO – As the annual marijuana harvest period approaches, police are reminding the public about the dangers of outdoor grow-operations.

Typically, marijuana crops are harvested as early as late August up until the beginning of October. During this period, pot growers will be headed into rural areas to collect their plants, which are typically grown in swamps, corn fields, wooded areas, along rivers and on rural, rental properties with large acreage.

There are several public safety risks with these grow operations. Growers often carry  weapons and ammunition and the grow sites are usually protected by booby traps to keep trespassers like “pot pirates” at bay.

Potentially these hazards could lead to dangerous confrontations for unsuspecting, innocent people – including children – who just happen to be in the area of these illegal crops.

There are also environmental dangers of grow-ops, which usually involves the unregulated use and disposal of different chemicals and other environmentally-damaging products.

The OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) continues to warn the public about the increasing threat to public and police officer safety posed by the expansion of marijuana cultivation.

Marijuana grown in Ontario is typically distributed throughout the province and exported to the United States. Stronger drugs, such as cocaine, as well as weapons and cash, often return to Ontario to fuel other criminal enterprises, which further endanger public safety.

Marijuana plants are bright green in colour and grow to between three and five feet in height. The leaves have seven jagged fingers and the plants give off a strong, pungent, musty odour.

Here are some of the telltale signs of a grow operation:


  • Abandoned vehicles parked on sideroads or trails
  • People walking in remote areas for no apparent reason
  • Bags of fertilizer, planting trays or chemicals located in remote areas
  • Well-trampled trails in wooded or swamp areas
  • Cleared out areas in swamps, wooded areas or corn fields
  • Recent posting of “No Trespassing” signs.


If you discover or suspect an outdoor grow operation, call police or Crime Stoppers, but do not take matters into your own hands. If it can be done safely, try to record any licence plates or GPS information that could help police with their investigation.

If by accident you find yourself in a grow-op, leave the same way you came in to avoid setting off a booby trap.


from the Alliston Herald

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