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Thread: Toronto Couple May Lose Home If Convicted Of Growing Pot

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    Toronto Couple May Lose Home If Convicted Of Growing Pot

    TORONTO - Federal prosecutors are attempting to seize the family home of a Toronto couple - both in their late 50s, with no prior criminal record - if they are convicted of running a marijuana grow operation. Tam Ngoc Tran and his wife Lien Thi Pham were arrested last year and charged with marijuana production-related offences, accused of having a medium sized grow-op in their modest home.

    If convicted at their provincial court trial which begins Monday in downtown Toronto, the couple may be sentenced to no more than a few months in jail. But the federal Integrated Proceeds of Crime Unit has filed notice that it will also be seeking forfeiture of the home the couple purchased in 1997 for about $200,000, under the provisions of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

    The forfeiture powers first came into effect more than a decade ago. In 2001, they were expanded by then-Justice minister Anne McLellan to make it easier to seize anything classified as "offence related property," as part of a legislative package to fight organized crime.

    The law requires anyone convicted of a marijuana production offence to show why their property should not be seized. The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, the highest court to rule on this legislation, concluded last year that seizing property is "not part of the punitive sanction" for a grow-op conviction and should not be considered part of any sentence that is imposed.

    The present Conservative government introduced legislation last fall that would impose mandatory minimum jail sentences of at least six months for producing as little as one marijuana plant as long as it was found to be part of a grow-op.

    Source: Canada.com
    Copyright: 2008, National Post
    Contact: Shannon Kari, Canwest News Service, skari@nationalpost.com
    Website: Toronto couple may lose home if convicted of growing pot

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    Re: Toronto Couple May Lose Home If Convicted Of Growing Pot

    Got some land? I am on my way :-)