ns-pot-bust

RCMP Sgt. Keith MacKinnon shows a truck full of marijuana plants seized from an outdoor grow-op on Tuesday. ((CBC))

Dozens of drug squad officers launched raids Tuesday on outdoor marijuana grow-ops in Nova Scotia.

No arrests were made but more than 50 plants were seized from the property surrounding Gaetz Brook Junior High School in Gaetz Brook, N.S.

"This time of year, we put special enforcement on because we often refer to it as our harvest season, so we will conduct marijuana grow eradications right throughout the province," said RCMP Sgt. Brigdit Leger.

"It intensifies late in summer just because our plants are now reaching maturity."

RCMP say many grow-ops are set up on Crown land, in isolated areas such as the Musquodoboit Valley.

A military helicopter is used to spot the grow-ops, then officers head to the field or woods to seize the plants.

RCMP Sgt. Keith MacKinnon said police likely seize only a small fraction of the marijuana plants growing in the province.

"It's subject to the intelligence, to the amount of information we receive from the public, people who are helping us to locate these," he said.

"When you consider that one fully mature marijuana plant can produce 300 to 500 joints on the street, that's a lot of marijuana plants taken out of the hands of young people."

MacKinnon said at least 35 outdoor marijuana grow-op sites have been identified throughout Nova Scotia.