Fire Leads Authorities To Marijuana Grow Operation

FIFE LAKE, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – Authorities say a light used for a large indoor marijuana growing operation in northern Michigan sparked an apartment fire that led them to more than 190 plants.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports the Fife Lake Fire Department responded to the fire early Sunday and found marijuana plants growing in two apartments.

Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputies and Traverse Narcotics Team detectives found more throughout the five-apartment building and its basements. Three residents were evacuated and the building received heavy smoke and fire damage.

One resident told authorities that he was permitted to grow the plants for personal medical marijuana use, but the number of plants exceeded state-set limits.

Under current Michigan law, patients with diseases and conditions such as cancer, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma and hepatitis C are allowed use and possess the drug without state-level repercussions.

More than 130,000 people in Michigan are registered medical marijuana patients, and another 25,000 are registered as caregivers who are allowed to grow marijuana for up to five people. Twelve plants are allowed per patient.

The discovery in Fife Lake, about 15 miles southeast of Traverse City, is under investigation.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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