Nipping it in the bud

Raissa Tetanish
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Amherst Daily News reporter Raissa Tetanish follows police as they raid marijuana plots in Cumberland County

Nipping it in the bud

SHULIE - For five straight hours, I scoured the woods of the Chignecto Game Sanctuary along with three members of the Cumberland Integrated Street Crime Enforcement Unit.

What were we looking for? Marijuana.
Cpl. Mike Johnson said I would be able to smell the plant before I saw it, and he was right.
After arriving in the Shulie area with Johnson, Cpl. Dave Baldwin and Const. Tim Hunter, I jumped on a buggy with Hunter while Johnson and Baldwin took to their all-terrain vehicles.
I looked for any of the visible signs they told me to watch for.
"There are several indicators that we look for, but over the years, the growers have found out what we look for and they're good at hiding those," Baldwin said after the outing.
Of those indicators, the most common is a trail into the woods.
Travelling along the dirt roads, we looked for any paths into the bushes and the officers jumped off the vehicles if anything seemed amiss.
We were on the hunt for four different plots, all operated by the same individual.
"This person that we're looking at has grown plants for years," Baldwin said.
"All of the information that was given to us came from a source. It can come from anywhere. If we hear of someone growing something, we look into it."
It was roughly an hour after we started that Hunter jumped off his buggy and headed into the woods to come back with a thumbs-up sign.
I waited until the officers had to secure the area for traps before heading into the woods to the area that Baldwin said was probably used for a while.
"The ground was soiled well and the fence was really secure," he said.
Out of the four plots, only three were found, with a total of 221 plants. And that doesn't include the 10 plots or so that were found on two different occasions with officers flying in helicopters.
Because the plants were found on provincial property, Baldwin said no charges would be laid.
"Growers rarely plant on their own property. We might have an idea of who is growing it, but unless we find somebody on the property at the time, no charges are laid," he said.
"We just looking to get the drugs off the streets."
The plants from the three plots ranged in size and age, however most were adult plants. Some were even dwarf plants.
"The marijuana would have been worth a lot on the streets," said Baldwin.
Having been with the street crime unit for the past two years, Baldwin thinks marijuana is a problem not just in Cumberland County, but everywhere.
"It keeps us busy year-round," he said. "We're out from July to mid-September either on foot, in cars or on ATV's.
"The prime season for outdoor operations is anywhere from May to the end of October.
"The outdoor operations would be gone for the most part now, so we're looking at the information we have on indoor operations."
Anyone that might have information can call the street crime unit at 667-3859.
"We get our job done. For anyone that is talking to us, we have to protect them. They don't have to give us their name, but that doesn't mean we can't use that information."

Organizations: Amherst Daily News, Cumberland Integrated Street Crime Enforcement Unit

Geographic location: Cumberland County, SHULIE

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Recent comments

  • Rob
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    Sorry to disagree with most of you pot heads, but marijuana is not a good thing and the police have to do something about it's use and abuse. Police taking crops before they can be processed and put on the streets for our children to use is a good thing, just ask most of us responsible people in this community and the world... marijuana doesn't make you successful ... hard work and committment do, escaping reality by using any type of drugs doesn't help you ever.
    I also find it very offensive that the side advertising on ths page gives links to indoor grow lights and marijuana seds for sale.......... Amhesrt Daily News ... shame on you ... check your advertsing links!

  • Joe
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    The headline should read a *a drop in the bucket*.

    What a waste of police resources, legalize it and get it off the streets.

  • citizen
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    To begin, lb, people do not go to the hospital to get methadone and it does not come in the form of a shot!!!!!! Get educated. Also THOSE POOR PEOPLE probably started out on Marijuana and went on to bigger things in life. Wasted resources you say, well let me ask you if you'd feel the same way when if your son/daughter came home stoned or if you lost a loved one to someone who was high and decided to take a drive. For those of you do not understand what the police are trying to achieve or appreciate their efforts, I feel pity for you. Like it or not marijuana is illegal, and like anything else, legalizing it brings a whole new scope of problems. Have a little appreciation for those who keep us safe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days of the year.

  • Another 2 Cents
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    It seems to me that a very small minority have problems with cocaine, heroin, maybe meth and illegal prescription drugs in the wrong hands.

    Ask those with the serious drug problems, it probably started with marijuana!

    Yes we need to help those people, but we also need to stop the flow of illegal drugs.

    I also like to know that the police are there catching the idiots who speed recklessly throughout the town, and thus keeping us safe.

    Sure, something needs to be done with legalizing marijuana, (hefty tax), and huge fines for those who grow it illegally.

    The sarcasm and cynicism is typical when it comes to the police doing there job.

    At least they are trying to do something, even if it is a drop in the bucket . It iks gratifying that at least they pissed someone off a little!!

  • Steve
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    It says it right there: It keeps us busy year-round, - it's a make work project. I guess between this and parking tickets they keep the streets safe.

  • lb
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    total waste of taxpayers money to combat somthing thats less adictive than coffee ,,,, why arnt they focusing on those poor people u see at the hospital everyday looking for a methadone shot which is a result of ... (crack, coke, meth)

  • Ron
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I have to agree. Drugs like Cocaine and Crystal Meth and Heroin are the ones they should be focusing on. And real crimes like burglary and theft. I think they waste a lot of time on traffic non sense too.

  • Local Citizen
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I understand that the police have their jobs to do when it comes to illegal substances, but my question is, why do they spend so much of their time, money and efforts looking for marijuana grow-ops when it seems like the real problem in our community is cocaine and other hard illegal drugs??!!

  • haha
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Drugs are drugs. They have to spend time on it all

  • lol
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Thinks some of the last comments must be fr t.h him self,lol ,I think a.p should do something worth while .