Surrey fire chief has a ‘cultural bias’ against marijuana grow-ops, expert witness to testify

Surrey’s fire chief has a “cultural bias” against licensed marijuana grow-ops, which is why he wrongly concludes they are more dangerous than regular residences, an expert witness is expected to testify at a Vancouver court case.

Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis, an adjunct criminology professor at the University of the Fraser Valley and an expert witness for the federal government in a constitutional challenge of Canada’s medical marijuana laws, concluded there was a higher incidence of fires at homes with both illicit and legal marijuana grow-ops.

Garis will be called as a witness Monday when the case, which started two weeks ago, resumes in Federal Court in Vancouver.

John Conroy, the lawyer representing four people who have licences to grow medical marijuana, plans to call another fire expert to rebut Garis’ evidence.

In an affidavit filed in court, Tom Moen, who has a Masters degree from Royal Roads University and...

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